• MEDRIE MACPHEE: THE WEIGHT OF MATTER

    APRIL 1 - 24, 2021

  • Medrie MacPhee’s innovative approach to space, colour and form is widely admired and respected in both Canada and abroad. Over the years, her work has evolved from architectural landscapes to abstraction, with the concepts of construction, momentum, collapse and renewal remaining central to her practice. A significant shift in MacPhee's process occurred when she began adhering ordinary materials — clothing, zippers, buttons and fabric — to her canvases. The resulting chromatic patterns she creates using this framework are entirely abstract and yet reference their origins in the subtle presence of human-body derived shapes and contours.

     

    MacPhee is also widely recognized for her works on paper that employ various abstract motifs composed of acrylic transfer, pumice, transparent velum and oil stick to create a unique visual language. Her work in this medium was the subject of an acclaimed two-person exhibition at the New York Studio School earlier this year, Inner Workings: Works on Paper by David Humphrey and Medrie MacPhee curated by Karen Wilkin.

    A recorded talk with Medrie MacPhee and Sarah Milroy, Curator of the McMichael Collection of Canadian Art, will be released on Thursday, April 8th.

  • Medrie MacPhee, Attraction, 2018

    Medrie MacPhee

    Attraction, 2018

    oil and mixed media on canvas
    64 x 84 in.

     

    SOLD
  • Medrie MacPhee, Zest, 2020

    Medrie MacPhee

    Zest, 2020

    oil and mixed media on canvas
    67 x 59 in.

     

    SOLD
  • 'Zest' was inspired by my extraordinary experience at an artists' residency called The Bogliasco Foundation near Genoa in October 2019. During the residency, I produced a large body of works on paper and small paintings. The Ligurian Coastal towns are known for the rich density of palette that colours the exteriors of its buildings and houses with their faux windows and fanciful details. The intensity of sunlight playing across that panoply of colour was a retinal feast. In January, back in my studio,  I was still in the afterglow of that experience and the prevalent colour (and detailing) came directly from what I had seen and absorbed during that memorable time.   
     
    - MEDRIE MACPHEE
    • Medrie MacPhee Balance, 2020 mixed media on paper 30 x 22 in.
      Medrie MacPhee
      Balance, 2020
      mixed media on paper
      30 x 22 in.
      $ 6,500.00
    • Medrie MacPhee Parking Places in Space, 2020 mixed media on paper 30 x 22 in.
      Medrie MacPhee
      Parking Places in Space, 2020
      mixed media on paper
      30 x 22 in.
      $ 6,500.00
  • Medrie MacPhee, Dark Matter, 2020

    Medrie MacPhee

    Dark Matter, 2020
    oil and mixed media on canvas
    96 x 120 in.
     
    SOLD
  • Central to this exhibition is an 8’ by 10’ painting titled, Dark Matter (above). The title came to MacPhee during the making of the work when she learned about the mysterious substance that is dark matter. Emitting no light, reflection or shadow, it is essentially the gravitational force keeping the solar system from flying apart. This theory resonated with MacPhee as she sees her own process of affixing clothing to canvas as the creation of an underlying matrix or scaffolding, out of which comes endless possibilities for her to explore. For this particular work, MacPhee limited the palette to black and white except for a small blue stripe in the top right quadrant. The simplified palette and bold composition recall the work of Paul-Émile Borduas and Robert Motherwell.

  • Medrie MacPhee, The Heroine Appears, 2018

    Medrie MacPhee

    The Heroine Appears, 2018

    oil and mixed media on canvas
    53 x 70 in.

     

    SOLD
    • Medrie MacPhee Imagine, 2020 mixed media on paper 30 x 22 in.
      Medrie MacPhee
      Imagine, 2020
      mixed media on paper
      30 x 22 in.
      $ 6,500.00
    • Medrie MacPhee Moving On, 2020 mixed media on paper 30 x 22 in.
      Medrie MacPhee
      Moving On, 2020
      mixed media on paper
      30 x 22 in.
      $ 6,500.00
  • About five years ago, Medrie MacPhee began to rethink her paintings. She jettisoned her swirling, unstable compositions, whose tangled forms, derived from architecture, often hung, Surrealist style, in empty space. She found, as many painters do as they mature, that she could do more with less. She started collaging parts of cutup garments to her canvases, fitting them together like puzzles, letting their welted seams define taut shapes that now extend edge to edge. She replaced a familiar illusionism with an adamant, witty physicality.

     

    – ROBERTA SMITH

    The New York Times
  • Medrie MacPhee, Blaze, 2019

    Medrie MacPhee

    Blaze, 2019
    oil and mixed media on canvas
    55 x 45 in.
     
    $ 24,000.00
  • Medrie MacPhee, Social Distance, 2020

    Medrie MacPhee

    Social Distance, 2020
    oil and mixed media on canvas
    45 x 55 in.
     
    $ 24,000.00
  • The irony of the pandemic was that one had little to do but social distance. The title of this work memorializes an extremely fruitful period of  working in the studio on this new body of work without any distraction such as a social life. For those of us privileged enough to just stay home and concentrate on whatever vocations we had there was a strange silver lining to the isolation.
     
    - MEDRIE MACPHEE 
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  • Medrie MacPhee was born in Edmonton, Alberta, and has resided in New York City since 1976. She received a B.F.A....
    Medrie MacPhee in her New York studio

    Medrie MacPhee was born in Edmonton, Alberta, and has resided in New York City since 1976. She received a B.F.A. from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Her work has been exhibited in over thirty solo and seventy group exhibitions, in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. MacPhee is represented in many private and public collections in Canada, the U.S. and Europe including the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal; the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; the Edmonton Art Gallery; the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and the Asheville Art Museum, NC. MacPhee is a recipient of American Academy of Arts and Letters Purchase Prize Awards, a Pollack-Krasner Award and a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. MacPhee is the Sherri Burt Hennessey Artist in Residence at Bard College, New York.