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Whitney McVeigh: Is 2010 Her Year?

  • 2 min read

Her work has been a feature at artrepublic since 2007 and with an apparent renaissance emerging in figurative painting is 2010 going to be the year of Whitney McVeigh…find out more.

At a moment when figurative art is enjoying something of a renaissance, Whitney McVeigh has produced a series of works that combine the expressive immediacy of gestural abstraction with the psychological depth of portraiture.

With yet more good publicity for McVeigh, after her prominent feature in a BBC documentary exploring the state of British art in 2009, McVeigh was interviewed by art historian Dr Gus Casely-Hayford. The film, set against the backdrop of a contemporary art bubble that has burst, explored what British artists are making now, where they are making it and how things have changed. Its focus: the shift in contemporary art away from sensationalism and hype to more traditional techniques and subject matter.

McVeigh is something of a slow burner when discussing her in terms of the art market, but it is exactly this that has made her a strong, solid candidate for success in a post recession art market.

Her work is researched meticulously and over a very long period of time, culminating in an explosion of artistic output that seems to just overspill out of her when her mind seems ready. The result is two avenues of work: The Heads series and The Transformation series.

The ‘Heads’ paintings are mainly executed in acrylic inks on paper or canvas and are not portraits in the conventional sense. They adopt certain formal aspects of portraiture merely as a starting point for a more inventive take on human individuality. McVeigh has spoken of her interest in what she calls “the internal landscape: our make-up,” seeing her ‘Heads’ as representative of “a frailty beneath the complex surface of us all.”

Alongside the ‘Heads’ is McVeigh’s Transformation series which displays in the form of abstract black monoprints. In comparison to the ‘Heads’ there is more of a physicality to these works; each one is made on the floor through pressing and folding the paper. The use of black is important to McVeigh as there is no reduction process; everything is there in its force and the light filters through in the spaces in between.

Whitney McVeigh was born in New York in 1968 and moved to the UK in 1976 where she studied at Edinburgh College of Art. She has exhibited nationally and internationally in New York, Beijing and Mexico. She currently lives and works in London.

If you are interested in Whitney McVeigh and would like to know further information or to enquire about other works and artists we might have in the gallery call +44 (0)20 7240 7909 or email soho@artrepublic.com

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