The core of my practice focuses primarily on painting and drawing. The work as a whole is based on situations of civil unrest and military control, largely drawing on, but not confined to, my experience growing up in the north of Ireland. The buildings and housing areas in the drawings are often subject to physical control by the military and in some cases were designed with the help of military technicians to ensure containment of insurgent populations. The recent works explore elements of rural or remote landscapes and the duality implicit in areas that are repositories of romantic ideal and yet contain hidden threats. Some of the drawings reference aspects of neo-classicism as an architecture of imagined social order, stability and permanence. All of the works are executed in black and white, with the surrounding white space referring to ideals of purity and cleanliness. The aim of all the work is to explore the various manifestations of social order and raise questions relating to the control of space, personal and national boundaries.
Artist Bio / CV
Conor McGrady was born in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland in 1970. He studied at Cumbria College of Art and Design in Carlisle, UK and at the University of Northumbria, Newcastle, UK, before receiving his MFA at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1998. In 2000 and 2002 McGrady was awarded a Community Arts Assistance Program Grant from the City of Chicago. Most recently his work has been exhibited in the one-person exhibitions, ‘Social Security’ at the Customs House, South Shields, UK, ‘Purity’ at Thomas Robertello Gallery, Chicago and ‘New Arcadia’ at M.Y. Art Prospects, New York. In 2002 he was selected to participate in the Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. In 2003 he completed a five-month residency in the Woolworth Building, New York, through the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Studio Program. He currently lives and works in New York.