M+B is pleased to present Security, an exhibition of new paintings by Catherine Mulligan. This is the artist’s first solo show with the gallery and runs from December 11, 2021 through January 22, 2022, with an opening reception on Saturday, December 11 from 5 to 7 pm at our Almont location.
In a series of oil paintings, Brooklyn-based artist Catherine Mulligan drags to the surface images and figures that lurk in the digital trash heap. What began as a composite image, watermarked, yet anonymous, selling perfection and lust, is now locked beneath layers of delicately applied paint.
Piles of money and pills, surgically perfected smiles, and hourglass waist lines are figures which are neither redeemed nor celebrated by Mulligan, but rather mined for their subversive power. These digital scam images have overrun the ‘true’ images. It is no longer artists and art history which must contend with the digital trash heap, but rather, the other way around. The crushing swell of archived images which live forever online cannot be stopped. It coats everything in its grease, from the treasured works of the Western canon to ads for dog walking services and diet pills.
It is through Mulligan’s paintings that these images can finally be put to rest, returned to the mineral world of pigment, which unlike their digital selves, can be destroyed, and is slowly deteriorating. But it is radioactive waste. The half-lives of scam images haunt the canvas and leak through its layers.
The result is Mulligan’s koan, works that haunt both the digital trash heap and the world of painting, like two lost souls late at night, roaming alleyways, searching for nothing and everything all at once.
— Isaac Brosilow
Catherine Mulligan holds an MFA from Indiana University, Bloomington. She has recently shown at Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn; Hans Gallery, Chicago; Kunst im Tunnel, Dusseldorf; and Gern en Regalia, New York. She is a two-time recipient of the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant. Security is the artist’s West Coast debut. Catherine Mulligan lives and works in New York. @catherine.mulligan
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