Sheila Gallagher - chase
september 10 - october 2, 2004
opening reception friday, september 10, 5:30 - 7:30 


Click on thumbnail for larger view


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 for meaning.

Sheila Gallagher holds an MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and is Assistant Professor of Fine Art at Boston College.

For more information please e-mail the gallery or call 617.695.0255 


Sheila Gallagher



installation view including grass rabbit, talking rabbit decoys and video monitor