2 - 23 August 2022
  • Taymour Grahne Projects is pleased to present Under Above, an online show by Massachusetts-based artist Margot Bird opening on August 2, 2022.

  • Margot Bird is a figurative artist and the unmistakable motif within her work is that of the faces of kittens repeatedly painted throughout her canvases. Springing this immediate feline surprise on the viewers, at times almost kaleidoscopic in density, Bird paints these scenes with a delicate care and curiosity.

    Bird's practice tends to revolve around recurring motifs and characters, which throughout her career have been reapplied within different scenarios to access a wide range of emotional effect. Thematic images in the likes of poodles, chains, eyeballs, and green aliens take center stage, second only to her most prevalent motif of choice: kittens. These, she playfully and endearingly places atop the spaces and objects of the everyday. Recently, Margot Bird has produced aircraft paintings that play up the kitten motif with proliferating tiny, cute heads staring out of places where ought to be knobs and dials on the instrumentation panels in cockpits. In her first solo show with Taymour Grahne Projects, Bird floods the faces of kittens over this heavy machinery, raising the stakes on the subject’s risk of danger.

    In Bird’s painting technique, there is a tendency for her to abstract the cockpit, creating lapses out of correct perspective, making it somewhat disorienting or chaotic, and perhaps it could seem as if these pilots symbolize the viewer looking at themselves in a dream. Subjectively, the pilots seem unconcerned with the confusion of their situation, a reaction that one would perhaps only have in a dream. It could be that the airplanes or submarines represent vehicles used to navigate through the dream or creative subconscious or even the creative conscious (with an awareness of drifting into total creativity and allowing reason to sort of slip away). As she mentions, “Falling into total creative imagination is an attractive idea. Navigating through it is just as interesting.”

    The submarine paintings are a new environment which the artist is debuting with this show. Additionally, the specificities of the vehicle her portrayed models find themselves in interestingly correlates with Bird’s timeline of events within her personal life. “I just recently noticed that I had painted all the submarine paintings while I was pregnant and have painted all the airplane paintings since my son Lou had been born. The landscape kind of coincidentally emerged from underwater and into the sky along with Lou.”, she says. While this may be a detail and purpose that chronologically occurred while she was painting this show, the beauty of these works is in the versatility in meaning that each viewer can develop for themselves through the lens of relatability and exploration of the creative subconscious.

  • Margot Bird (born Sioux City, IA) lives and works in Ashfield, Massachusetts, having recently moved there from Brooklyn, New York....
    Margot Bird (born Sioux City, IA) lives and works in Ashfield, Massachusetts, having recently moved there from Brooklyn, New York. She received her Bachelor of Arts & Sciences at the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 2006. Margot Bird has had solo showsin Sargent’s Daughters Gallery (NYC); Sidel & McElwreath (online); and Marvin Gardens (Brooklyn, NY). Her work has also been included in numerous group shows, including OverThe Influence (LA, CA); Harper’s Books (East Hampton, NY); Eve Leibe Gallery (London); Tchotchke Gallery (NYC); Here Gallery (Pittsburgh, PA); Ladrón Galería (Mexico City, MX); Left Field Gallery (Los Osos, CA); Fållnäs Stockholm archipelago (Sweden); Field Projects Gallery (NYC); Lorimoto Gallery (Brooklyn, NY); the Wassaic Projects Summer Exhibition (Wassaic, NY); the Bellevue Art Museum (Bellevue, WA); SPRING/BREAK Art Show NYC; 123 Astronaut Gallery (LA, CA); Festival Internacional Cultural Tierra Adentro (Aculco, MX); Yo Mama Gallery (Brooklyn, NY); Stella Elkins Gallery (Philadelphia, PA); 244 Art Gallery (Mexico City, MX); Nola Darling (NYC); The Black Lodge (Seattle, WA); Blaubak Gallery of Modern Art (Kirkland, WA); and Firecracker Studios (Madison, WI). Margot Bird completed a self-motivated intensive residency in Mexico City (2016-2017). A print edition of the work is currently available through Exhibition A.