Rosemarie McGoldrick: Monumental

The drawing room was always a withdrawing room, an after-dinner space to which the men only would retire. This room full of drawings asserts a very female story. It’s an art that shoves decoration front of stage, that prods at local style for awkward answers. Rosemarie McGoldrick’s new artworks are based on an idea of drawing in three dimensions, something developed over years of teaching with C4RD’s founder Andrew Hewish, a happy riff on Rosalind Krauss’ theorised extension of art medium in her well-known 1979 essay Sculpture in the Expanded Field.

On show here are drawings on paper that envisage sculptures and three-dimensional "drawings" modeled from those penned ink plans.

Drawing's field expands here in a way that might not be expected. No strands of wire or thread cutting through negative space from floor to ceiling. No immaterial shafts of spotlight to perform as lines on a darkened wall. The artist lands instead on drawing’s convention of the monochrome to explore sculptural monumentality. What will the third dimension of a sculptural drawing do to an interior, exactly? What sort of plasticity does silhouette achieve? And how might an outlined objet act as drawing in an era that prefers installed identity? 

To this end, the artist co-opts lost function to perform as plinth in a regular formal scheme, deploying outmoded outlines once serving some long-missed purpose - old ashtray holders, jardiniere stands, secondhand side tables and occasional furniture, reproduction items that once belonged in millions of living rooms and hallways, all late attempts on the two-centuries-old aesthetic of the Regency aristocracy. Surfaces are covered with folk art marks, testing our loyalties. The plinths then support random shapes of an abject elegance: stuffed black or white cushions studded with short wires or pearl-headed pins; balanced cairns of upholstered velvet; stones meant for a rock garden, painted black or white and dotted with ink. These are monuments for an interior, commemorations of another modernity.

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