sue mcnally

DRIVE-BY PROJECTS / Transcendent Landscapes

September 18 - November 1, 2014
Drive-By Projects81 Spring StreetWatertownMA

Drive-By Projects is pleased to present Transcendent Landscapes, an exhibition of paintings by Matthew Fisher, and Sue McNally, drawings by Ernest Jolicoeur, and video by Julia Hechtman.


As they bring their personal interpretations to this traditional painting genre, Fisher, Hechtman, Jolicoeur, and McNally reveal an aesthetic akin to that of landscape mavericks such as the Canadian Group of Seven (1920-1933) and the Transcendental Painting Group (1938), as well as other visionary landscapists including Marsden Hartley, Charles Burchfield, and Arthur Dove.

Inspired by scenes of great natural beauty, the works of these 20th century forebears expressed
a reverence for landscape that approached the spiritual. The manifesto of the Transcendental Painting Group professed, ". . .to carry painting beyond the appearance of the physical 
world," words equally applicable to what Fisher, Hechtman, Jolicoeur, and McNally have brought to Drive-By's storefront space.

Auxiliary Projects / Middle Ass Bad Age

Auxiliary Projects, Brooklyn, NY  March 2014 

Auxiliary Projects is pleased to present a series of ink on paper self-portraits by Rhode Island-based painter Sue McNally from March 21st through April 27th, 2014. There will be an opening reception on Friday, March 21st, from 7-9pm. The gallery is open Saturdays and Sundays from 1-6pm and by appointment.  


Sue McNally is best known for inventive, large-scale landscape paintings that depict the results of far ranging searches for iconic views. In “Middle Ass Bad Age” she presents eight years of studying something closer to home: her own face. As a genre the self-portrait contains both narcissism and introspection, both warm self-indulgence and cold self-appraisal. Although we spend a lifetime in front of the mirror, in front of one another, what does our face reveal of our true selves?
McNally has been drawing herself since she was a teenager and describes her relentless self-depiction as part of the process of solving the problem of who she is. Perhaps these drawings are not entirely unlike the ubiquitous photographs people take of themselves and post to social media* and, though McNally’s process is analog rather than digital, at times she makes a picture almost as quickly as a cameraphone. Over the years this habit of drawing her face--this same, constant, available subject-- has developed into watching herself age and documenting the results in what appear to be the most unflattering ways possible. McNally’s deadpan demeanor and unsparing titles (“Runny Nose," “Call the Doctor!”) brings a spirit of unseriousness and even glee to these works, though the face in the mirror, I mean, portrait almost never smiles.


Like the “S” word, these portraits record McNally’s appearance, comportment and lifestyle through the years. In most of the dozens of works McNally depicts only her face, shoulders and hands. In several, we see the daily routine of the artist as she shows herself drinking from a mug; in “Modelo,” her face appears to pop out of a beer can. The titles of her drawings are snap decisions meant as memory aids as much as identifiers. Running the gamut of self-appraisal there is “Handsome Woman” and “Very Intellectual” and “I wish I was Pretty” and “Sad Old Man” and “That Character Actor That Plays a Cop a Lot” and “Ugh.”


As much as these works are about their subject they are also about the liberating and impulsive act of drawing itself. As a counterpoint to the large, labor-intensive paintings on which McNally often works for weeks or months, her drawn self-portraits are loose, quick, responsive, unplanned and uncontrolled. McNally focuses on the exercise of the drawing as it unfolds each time. The medium of ink drawing--an additive process of handmade lines, quickly set down and irreversible--matches the contingency and specificity of daily life.


*We know there’s a word for that, we simply refuse to use it.

 "Bed Head," 2014, ink and gesso on paper, 11 x 15 inches

RISD Museum / Locally Made

Thursday, July 18 through Sunday, November 3, 2013

Upper Farago, Spalter New Media, and Lower Farago Galleries

3 galleries, 300 artists, 4 monthsThe RISD Museum’s first large survey of work from the greater-Providence region in more than 20 years, Locally Made expands across several Museum galleries with multiple components celebrating the rich and diverse talent in the city and nearby communities.

The Museum’s Upper Farago Gallery features about 40 recent acquisitions now in the collection, all created by artists in the region; video works by local filmmakers selected by guest curator Dina Deitsch (Contemporary Art Curator, deCordova Museum) are screened in the Spalter New Media Gallery.

Lower Farago Gallery is transformed into a multifaceted programming space, One Room, where invited artists, designers, performers, and other community members creatively curate, teach, and experiment through a variety of participatory events.

Dorrance H. Hamilton Gallery / Salve Regina University


February 14 through March 20, 2013




corner of Lawrence and Leroy Avenue

Newport, RI 0284

PH: 401-341-2981

Deadpan: Charcoal + Gesso on Paper / 45 x 45 inches / 2012

Sachuest: Oil on Canvas / 90 x 90 inches / 2012

Copyright © sue mcnally All rights reserved.