Clifford • Smith Gallery is pleased to announce the first exhibition
of our 7th season: Sheila Gallagher’s multimedia installation:
Chase. This is Sheila Gallagher’s first solo gallery exhibition
in Boston in several years following her critically acclaimed 1998
installation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the site specific
commission at the Charlestown Navy Yard for the Institute of Contemporary
Art in 2000. There will be a reception for the artist on Friday, September
10th, from 5:30 - 7:30 pm.
Foot basseting, the hunt of a hare on foot with a pack of bassets,
provides the perfect metaphorical armature for Sheila Gallagher’s
new multimedia installation, “Chase.” Borrowing freely
from art historical and literary sources that run the gamut from Stubbs
to the children’s classic allegory, The Runaway Bunny, Sheila
Gallagher uses the concept of “the chase” as the fulcrum
of a circling inquiry into the nature of pursuit, desire, and the
complexity of subjectivity. Freely combining painting, video, sound
sculptures and her signature live plant material, Gallagher exploits
traditional hunt motifs to create multilayered works where distinctions
between hunter and hunted, chased and chasing collapse against impossible
landscapes which defy rational space and time.
Here talking rabbit decoys collide with paintings dotted with tightly
rendered garden plans, chance drips, frantic gesture figures and flying
hounds. In the paintings, overlapping modes of representation seem
to suggest the insufficiency of a single point of view, fragments
of traditional landscapes are visible, but it is clear that the pastoral
ideal has been overrun by a maelstrom of competing elements. The rabbit
motif appears again in “Tewkesbury,” Gallagher’s
two minute looped video which combines images of a meandering and
Sisyphean basset hunt with intimate footage of her one-year-old son.
Taken as a whole, Gallagher’s installation is an energetic multisensory
experience where chasing becomes a poignant metaphor for the search
Sheila Gallagher holds an MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine
Arts and is Assistant Professor of Fine Art at Boston College.