The force of Malcolm McKesson's work – transgressive, liberated, born of an exalted urge – invites the subjugated viewer to contemplate an impression of the uncanny. The artist lays bare part of what is buried deep, guiding us to the heart of our own familiar terra incognita.
Malcolm McKesson came to art by an unusual path. Born to a well-heeled New York family, he graduated from Harvard and worked for the family chemical company for twenty years before withdrawing from professional life in his forties. With the support of his wife, the poet Madeline Mason, he decided to devote himself to his art. He began covering sheets of paper with a ball-point pen, working on the shapes as if sculpting them, until the multitude of lines gradually lent volume and consistency to his imaginary creatures. Eventually, the play of chiaroscuro revealed a shadowy, serious presence, as generous as it was ghostly. McKesson used this imaginary world to explore his own sado-masochistic fantasies, using it as the artistic counterpart to his short story Matriarchy : Freedom in Bondage. The drawings are characterised by violent, sensual eroticism, the ample figures of the characters fully fleshing out their carnality. Yet these fundamentally androgynous creatures question the difference between the genders, blurring socially accepted codes and conceptions. Malcolm McKesson's fascinating, lascivious, spectral art has been acquired by major Art Brut collections such as the Collection de l'Art Brut (Lausanne) and The Museum of Everything (London).
drawing now art fair, le carreau du temple, from march 22th to 25th, 2018.
vestiges & verse : notes from the newfangled epic, folk art museum, from january 21th to may 27th, 2018.
the museum of everything, from June 10th, 2017, to april 2nd, 2018, mona (museum of old and new art), berriedale, australia.
le mur (the wall), works from the collection of Antoine de Galbert, la maison rouge from june 14 th to september 21th 2014.
rentrée hors les normes 2011, discoveries & new acquisitions, gallery christian berst, 10 - 28 september 2011.
drawing now, salon du dessin contemporain, caroussel du louvre, from march 25 to 28, 2011.
Le mur, oeuvres de la collection Antoine de Galbert, catalogue d'exposition de La maison rouge (14.06 au 21. 09. 2014), textes d’ Antoine de Galbert, Anaël Pigeat, Sophie Delpeux, Paris, Editions Fage, La maison rouge, 2014.
Martine Lusardy, John Maizels, Raw Vision 25 ans d’Art brut, Paris, Halle Saint Pierre, 2013.
Collection de la Création Franche 1989-2010, textes de Noël Mamère, Pascal Rigeade, Gérard Sendrey, Martine Lamy, Ville de Bègles, 2010.
The Museum of Everything, catalogue d'exposition (1er avril – 29 août 2010, Pinacoteca Agnelli - Turin - Italie ), Milan, Electa, 2010.
Outsider Art, Source Book, Art brut, folk art, outsider art, Londres, raw vision Ltd, 2009
Colin Rhodes, “Raw Classic: Malcolm McKesson” in Raw Vision n°53, winter 2005.
Colin Rhodes, "Fulfillments of desire in the work of a self-taught artist: the intimate existence of Malcolm McKesson" in Journal of the Association of Art Historians, vol. 25, n°5, 2002.
Colin Rhodes, L’Art outsider, Art brut et creation hors normes au XXe siècle, Paris, Thames & Hudson, 2001
Malcolm McKesson. An Exquisite Obsession, ex cat., 1997.
McKesson, Matriarchy : Freedom in Bondage, San Francisco, Green Candy Press, 1997.
Tony Thorne, “The Reclusive World of Malcom McKesson” in Raw Vision n°10, Winter 1994/95.