Ryan McGinley: The Kids Are Alright & Other Works, 2007
Peter Hay Halpert Fine Art, New York is proud to announce our new exhibition Ryan McGinley: The Kids Are Alright & Other Work. The show will run from 4 January until 10 February 2007, and inaugurates our new gallery space on what The New York Times has coined “the hot block” in Chelsea.
Ryan McGinley: The Kids Are Alright & Other Work represents a look at a selection of work (comprising 13 photographs) done by the artist from 1998 – 2004. This exhibition coincides with another Ryan McGinley show, Irregular Regulars, on view through 10 February at Team Gallery in Soho.
This will be McGinley’s second solo show at Peter Hay Halpert Fine Art. The gallery has a long-standing association with McGinley’s work, dating back to 2000, when he was still a student at Parsons. McGinley’s photographs were also included in the 2001 London group warehouse exhibition Raw: New York, New Work, organized by Peter Hay Halpert, which The Telegraph likened to the famous Goldsmiths warehouse show that launched the careers of Damien Hirst and the rest of “the Young British Artists.”
The work in the current exhibition is drawn largely from McGinley’s breakout one-man exhibition, also titled The Kids Are Alright, held in 2003 at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Curated by Sylvia Wolf & organized in cooperation with Peter Hay Halpert Fine Art, the exhibit marked McGinley (now 29) as the youngest artist ever to have a solo show at the Museum. Other photographs in the gallery’s exhibition were first viewed in McGinley’s 2004 show at PS-1 MoMA.
McGinley’s photographs owe an obvious debt to predecessors such as Robert Frank, Larry Clark, Nan Goldin, Jack Pierson, Wolfgang Tillmans, Terry Richardson and Bruce LaBruce, many of whom have been his friends and mentors. Yet he’s also made a significant contribution to the “snapshot aesthetic” tradition. Vince Aletti, writing in The Village Voice at the time of McGinley’s Whitney show, remarked “He’s the perfect embodiment of the post-gay sensibility: a horny queer kid who’s not alienated, not conflicted, and not apologetic. Though his subjects are primarily male, their sexuality isn’t really an issue. McGinley’s strongest pictures feel effortless, matter of fact: he’s a natural and you never feel he’s trying too hard for effect. His close-up of a guy’s crotch in baby-blue trousers splashed with semen couldn’t be more understated.” Holland Cotter, reviewing the Whitney show for The New York Times, proposed that McGinley’s photographs evidenced “an approach to sexuality that suggests intriguing socio-political shifts in gay self-presentation, while Roberta Smith, writing recently for the same paper called McGinley “an astute observer of intimacy,” and referred to the “wan romanticism” of his images. It is often assumed that McGinley’s work is autobiographical, but the work featured in his PS1-MoMA exhibition (and included here) demonstrates how he mixes found with created imagery. McGinley, himself, has said “when taking a picture, it is less about me knowing what kind of picture I want, than it is about me knowing what I want to happen.”