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Melissa McGill: CURRENTS at TOTAH

September 8–October 15, 2022
From September 8 to October 15, 2022, TOTAH will be hosting CURRENTS, an exhibition showcasing Melissa McGill’s most recent creations. This is McGill’s second solo show with the gallery.
Constellation, Red Regatta, and In the Waves are three collaborative public artworks by Melissa McGill that reflect her awareness of our symbiotic relationship with water and the environment. Water is a fundamental element and an expressive language in the more personal artworks on display in CURRENTS, whether this is expressed through wind, waves, shifting light and shadow, or the passage of time itself.
Water’s many motions are shown in CURRENTS using a variety of mediums. McGill engages the tendencies of the water by using sight, sound, reflections, movement, and so on. Her glass sculpture transforms a number of two-dimensional photographic surfaces into an immersive setting where the subtle interaction of light and translucency evokes the ebb and flow of the waves. Similar to this, McGill’s Box of Waves series expresses our continuing conversation with nature by transmitting temporal movements across several materials. A period of time marked by the ongoing reciprocity of wind and water is accessible by opening the box.
McGill presents the world in terms of how it is, demonstrating how the water within us communicates with the water around us. The calligraphic evidence she sees in nature serves as a reminder of how our original state of existence was devoid of “edges,” of clear-cut distinctions between things, and instead existed in a non-linear, circular time that pervaded the entire world. McGill produces an environment script that doesn’t rely on conventional language as much as it ciphers the essence of translation, dialogue, collaboration, and symbiosis by inviting us to become more porous—to flow inside and like water.
Melissa McGill is an interdisciplinary artist who was born in Rhode Island in 1969. She works in a range of mediums, including photography, painting, drawing, sculpture, sound, light, and immersive installation, and develops large-scale, site-specific art projects. Through exploring the dialogue between the apparent and unseen and connecting viewers to forgotten histories, her art raises awareness of our surroundings. Waterways are a frequent source of inspiration, study, and creative cooperation for McGill. Her work is currently on view alongside Canaletto in a two-person exhibition at The Lightbox, Woking, UK. McGill has been exhibiting her artwork nationally and internationally since 1991, including solo exhibitions at White Cube, London; Power House, Memphis; Palazzo Capello, Venice; CRG Gallery, New York; and MANA Contemporary, NJ. A recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts, Arts Work Grant, she has led visiting artist workshops at Dia:Beacon and The Storm King Art Center, NY. She is a graduate of The Rhode Island School of Design, and presently lives and works in Beacon, New York.
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