LondonMegan Rooney: BONES ROOTS FRUITS
Megan Rooney BONES ROOTS FRUITS marks the artist’s first solo show at the gallery. Comprising all new works, the exhibition presents large scale paintings including one monumental wall work alongside a selection of works on paper called Old Baggy Root, an ongoing series of surreal portraits exploring playful figuration.
Megan Rooney’s largest painting to-date is aligned to the artist’s renowned murals seen in recent institutional shows such as at the Salzburger Kunstverein and Toronto’s Museum of Contemporary Art (both 2020). Presented alongside stretched canvases and works on paper, the exhibition will celebrate Rooney’s ability to seamlessly work across different scales and media. Whether swiftly executed at a table-top or working in-situ from the reaches of a cherry-picker, Rooney’s paintings embody compelling images. Drawing the exhibition title from the recent collective experience of rooting and re-rooting, Rooney’s references are deeply invested in the present moment while her subjects are drawn directly from her own life and surroundings. The body is a recurring element in the artist’s work and can be seen as both the subjective starting point and final ‘place’ for the sedimentation of experience.
In the Old Baggy Root series, this investigation presents itself through phantasmagorical figures that consistently dance the line of duality. As Emily LaBarge writes: ‘Rooney’s figures are at once specific and amorphous, friendly and threatening, powerful and injured – as though their outwards forms have struck a bad bargain with the darker registers of the world’. In her large scale paintings and mural works, these figures further fragment, distilling themselves throughout the composition amidst swathes of colour and blinking forms. Their beguiling presence calls upon the viewer to take a second look, to discern the many depths, to contemplate the absence of once-present images. As LaBarge says ‘each painting is a capsule of time and space, a palimpsest of effort and care, a portal into an intimate conversation between artist and canvas in which the journey of the work remains pulsing just beneath its surface.’
all images © the gallery and the artist(s)