Conor McGrady


Jun 4 - Jul 11, 2015

Intrusion features McGrady’s recent conceptual drawings of architectural structures.  McGrady’s fortified enclosures remind us of industrial and institutional building, especially those run by the state.  While his visual vocabulary is aligned with modernism i.e. Bauhaus, Constructivism, and Minimalism, his color palette is limited to black, white, and different shades of gray. The black and white building planes might represent the irony of architecture -- protection and security versus containment and control -- whereas the tube-like gray borders can be interpreted as representing the ambiguous status and quality of the structures’ foundations in light of social progress.

McGrady’s upbringing in the Northern Ireland of the 1970s and 1980s gave him ample reason to become preoccupied by the psychology of power and control.  Taken together as a group, these drawings serve as his personal narrative on the relationship between architecture and ideology. Or, as McGrady says: “The drawings call attention to core elements of sociological control that operate within the structure of the built environment. Such elements can be discerned in contemporary approaches to urban planning, surveillance, defensive structures, walls, barriers and fortifications that embody ideas of security and protection. Within this context, the drawings are an attempt to engage with the dichotomy between representations of power and the embrace of the visionary in a socio-political climate increasingly defined by fear and crisis.”

Conor McGrady’s work examines the relationship between ideology and the politics of spatial control. He has exhibited internationally, with one-person exhibitions in New York, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago and Zagreb. Group exhibitions include the 2002 Whitney Biennial in New York, The Jerusalem Show VII: Fractures (Qalandiya International Biennial), D-0 Ark Underground Biennale of Contemporary Art, Sarajevo-Konjic, and IK-00 Spaces of Confinement in Venice. Editor of Radical History Review’s Curated Spaces, his writing has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Ruminations on Violence (Waveland Press, 2007) State of Emergence (Plottner Verlag, 2011) and State in Time (Drustvo NSK Informativni Center, Ljubljana, 2012). He received an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a BA Hons from the University of Northumbria, Newcastle, UK. As Dean of Academic Affairs at Burren College of Art, he currently divides his time between the Burren, Ireland and New York City.

  • solo exhibition