1 February - 1 March 2023
  • Taymour Grahne Projects is pleased to present Hummin' in the Sun, an online solo show by LA-based artist, Sean McGaughey, opening virtually on February 1.

    • Sean P. McGaughey explores his identity in relation to the natural world, painting vibrantly coloured expressive works that navigate the line between figuration and abstraction. Drawing is central to McGaughey’s practice; the artist begins with loose sketches of moments he observes, perhaps a flower or someone’s eye. Transferring these drawings onto the canvas, McGaughey works and reworks his paintings until the original objects unravel, becoming unrecognizable loose forms. On his practice, McGaughey says “My paintings are situated between representation and abstraction. They start with the idea of representation – a face, a flower, etc –and begin to dissolve into an abstraction.”As a practicing Buddhist, McGaughey is conscious of the ways in which themes of fluidity and multiplicity in his works can be linked to the experience of chanting the Nichiren Buddhist chant “Nam Myoho Renge Kyo” (devotionto the mystic law of the lotus sutra). 


    • A chant may start with specific words that have a particular connotation, but as a crowd sings the chant, the repetitive rhythmic sound dissolves these words into abstract sound vibrations. The different pitches of voices begin to weave in and out of each other just as the different weights of marks and colour weave in and out in McGaughey’s practice. Hummin’ in the Sun is a body of largescale works. The artist is drawn to the physicality of painting on bigger canvases, feeling the movement it takes to create large loose forms and shapes. The vivid colours in McGaughey’s paintings are reminiscent of the sun. Living in LA, McGaughey is often confronted by magnificent sunsets on his drive home from work. Stuck in traffic, as is customary in LA, McGaughey used to watch the sky saturate, changing from deep shades of blue to bright hues of pink, yellow and red. In the work Interstellar Space, deep bold reds mingle with neon pinks and purples, interlocking in a web of shape and colour, reminiscent of the explosion of colour just before the sun sinks below the horizon.

    • The interaction between sound and colour is an integral part of Hummin’ in the Sun. McGaughey’s paintings are heavily influenced by music; the artist is often painting to the frenetic improvised rhythm of jazz. Jazz is all about experimentation, interrupting traditional composition techniques and playing with new and fresh syncopations. Much like how jazz starts with structure and unravels into unconventional sound, McGaughey’s paintings begin with figuration and evolve into abstraction. Jazz as a genre can be understood as an interruption from classical music, presenting a radical alternative in its composition. McGaughey allows himself to get lost in the opportunity of innovation presented by jazz, freely experimenting colours, blending them to capture the essence of the world around him. To look at McGaughey’s paintings is to peer into the artist, to understand the ways in which he engages with himself and what he sees; transforming his experience into intimate and expressive studies in colour and form.

  • Sean McGaughey is a Los Angeles based artist. He earned his BFA from the Art Center of College and Design in California. His recent exhibitions include The Creator Has a Master Plan, Diane Rosenstein (Los Angeles), Oh to be a Painting curated by Katelyn Ledford, Abigail Ogilvy Gallery (Boston), Common Room curated Evan Paul Trine, Fishing Concepts Monterey Park (CA), and There are No Wrong Answers BSFA (Los Angeles).