Sean McGINNIS was born and raised in Hays, Kansas to artist parents. His father was a longtime professor of ceramic sculpture. The third of four children, he spent his childhood creating intricate imaginitive worlds and could spend hours alone entertaining himself inventing or drawing.
He received two bachelors degrees in 1987, one in ceramic sculpture and the second in art history. He attended the University of Arizona, where he obtained a Master of Fine Arts degree in ceramic sculpture. His master thesis was an installation outside the Museum of Art, where dug into the desert earth, using the material to build adobe walls.
Well known in the South West United States for his colorful spiral ceramic sculptures, Mr. McGINNIS, on moving to Paris in 1997, came in contact with both new ideas and new materials, including classical drawing, figurative painting and photography.
The resulting fusion of contemporary art thought, found object, and simple materials produced his lastest and most stunning work ; his insallation sculptures woven in space and held in place with thick sewing thread.
Working freelance at the dynamic and creative Casey-Vidalenc Studio in Paris, he rediscovered string as a creative material, first sewing on clothes, then sewing on his own drawn and photographic work. The strings then found their way off his photos and ended crawling up the walls and onto the ceiling. And there, miles and miles of string and hours of labor going up and down a ladder later, they form intersecting wing shapes, floating etherial objects, or gothic arches, layers upon layers of three dimensional drawing.
In mind-boggling intricacy, the straight lines of the strings sculpt arches and wing shapes in space. The thread is thin enough to not be easily seen, but the mass of repeated lines, though weightless and effemerate, creates form. The effect is heightened by moving around the various forms, letting their myriad of lines cross and recross in never repeating patterns.
An ambiance in light and sound created for his work by Philippe Guyard and Ludovic Bordas of Ludolabs round out the work and reveal its depth and detail.
The installations of Christo, the delicacy of Andy Goldsworthy, and the architectural models of Gaudi all in one.
The artist has a strong preference for transforming "ordinary spaces," and is as comforatable weaving his creations in the pristine space of a modern gallery as he is in everyday living or industrial spaces. He even "tags" his work in public spaces, doing impromptu graffiti with colored string, often in unused or neglected spaces, often where few or none will ever see them. The importance is the gest, the act, not the notoriety.
An important show at the Joyce Gallery in Palais Royal, Paris 2005, lead to several major private commisions and subsequent expositions in Paris. His important one man show in the André Malraux Cultural Center, Rosny-sous-bois in March 2008 was a phenomenal success and has opened opporunities for exhibits in Algiers, Berlin, and Lisbon, among others. His string work can be seen at : mcginnis.fr
Sam Angeson, Galerie Nomade, Paris
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