The Commune – 
A solo project by Michael Jones McKean

SUPER DUTCHESS is pleased to present a new solo project, The Commune, by US and France based artist Michael Jones McKean.

With this new sculptural work, McKean presents three interlocking and spatially compressed vignettes: a cave diorama is conjoined to a tiled room containing a tree growing hyperbolically into an adobe-hued space. Composed within this shadowless zone is a levitating human bone, a used Band-Aid, a small clay slab and a pair of crudely made human eyes which rhyme visually with two tree leaves cantilevered above.

As with McKean’s previous work, The Commune depicts a fully replicated, flattened-out world where small, discreet spaces are coaxed into much larger psychic portals. Objects each claim their assumed 4-dimensional volumes, yet shed their mass, floating, inert within the sculpture’s composition.

The Commune utilizes Super Duchess’ unique context as a gallery only assessable at street level, in the process recalling the aesthetic of shop windows or product display. Yet each object within McKean’s cosmology quietly prompts an elaborate secondary (and perhaps tertiary) set of referents, roaming from regional natural history museum dioramas to OLED smartphone screens, from pre-literate religious triptychs to future leaning sci-fi aesthetics, from Greek votive sculpture to ubiquitous emojis.

Even as The Commune might take formal cues from the cells of a comic, or the panels of a tryptic, or even more abstractly as a three-act play, McKean’s installation exists absent of causal, linear time, instead building more wanton strains of narration and meaning-making.

At its core, The Commune presents a simple set of objects in association : a tree, a cave, clay, bone, a bandage, a hole, and eyes. This last object—eyes—exist somewhere near the sculpture’s gravitational or spiritual center as to underscore, in the crudest and most materially lo-fi terms, something emergent, perhaps sentient — the sculpture believing itself, communing…

The Commune is publicly visible 10am to 6pm everyday from February 24 to March 30th. Super Dutchess is located at 53 Orchard St. New York, NY 10002. Please contact Super Dutchess (superdutchessgallery@gmail.com) for additional information or special viewing.

Michael Jones McKean is the recipient of numerous awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Nancy Graves Foundation Award, and an Artadia Award. McKean has been awarded fellowships and residencies at The Core Program at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The MacDowell Colony, The International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York City, The Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, and the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program in New York City.

McKean’s work has been exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally. Recent exhibitions include The Contemporary, Baltimore, MD; The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA; Parc Saint Leger Centre d’art Contemporain, Nevers, France; Horton Gallery, New York, NY; The Quebec Biennale, Quebec City, Canada; Gentili Apri, Berlin, Germany; The Art Foundation, Athens, Greece; Inman Gallery, Houston, TX; Parisian Laundry, Montreal, Canada; Project Gentili, Prato, Italy; The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC, and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, among many others.

Andrew Woolbright

www.superdutchess.com