The Other Side by Mission School Artist Barry McGee
Why We Recommend it
Featuring a selection of new works, ephemera, and archival materials, the San Francisco-based artist’s exhibition showcases his spontaneous and humorous depictions of varied environments and social vernaculars.
Barry McGee is seen as a leading figure of the Mission School, an artistic movement that developed in San Francisco’s eponymous district in the 1990s. The artists associated with this movement took their influences from urban realism, Op Art, and American folk art, and placed a strong focus on community and social activism.
Stylised lettering, colorful geometric patterns, and recognizable faces pervade McGee’s paintings and drawings. They are presented as multi-panel canvases, groupings of framed works, and the artist’s signature “boil” installation, which is comprised of hundreds of framed works bulging out from the gallery wall in a display of absurdity and abundance.
Known for creating immersive environments, the artist adopts a fluid and improvisational approach to his installations; each is unique to the architecture of its exhibition space. By incorporating an eclectic selection of media—painted surfboards, hand-thrown ceramics, obsolete television sets—and found objects sourced during his stay in Hong Kong, McGee demonstrates his organic and often unpredictable process of art making. The spontaneity of The Other Side is evocative of the artist’s ongoing dialogue with the neighborhoods in which he resides and his sustained interest in the distinctions between public and private spaces. The result is an inclusive experience that gives insight into McGee’s worldview and his artistic trajectory.