Grants and residencies: Kristin McIver - Art Collector

Issue 75, January - March 2016

This profile appeared in the Grants and Residencies feature, part of the annual special issue 50 Things Collectors Need to Know 2016.

Kristin McIver, photographed for Art Collector issue 75, January - March 2016. Portrait by Jason Wyche.

“New York does have its challenges and there is a certain amount of sacrifice in pursuing a career here. The risks are high, but then so are the rewards.” Wise words from New York-based Australian artist Kristin McIver, who is beginning to reap such rewards since moving to New York two years ago, attracting the attention of collectors, critics and curators.

With a practice spanning painting, sculpture and installation, in May last year McIver held her first major United States solo show for 2015 at Royale Projects in California. The exhibition featured a series of her Data Portraits, an ongoing body of work in which facial recognition data is translated into a geometric, formalist grid within a set of chromatic codes. The work is a commentary on the evolution of identity through social media consumption. McIver is currently working with a New York-based curator on an exhibition that extends the data portraiture, featuring high profile celebrities and Warhol’s Factory aficionados as its subjects.

McIver also recently completed a large-scale commission Turning Point for TerraCRG, a commercial realty group in Brooklyn, who came across her work through her Instagram account. The work is an eight by eight foot neon installation that uses the devices of concrete poetry to create a self-referential semiotic play on the word “TRANSFORM”. It now holds prime wall space in the TerraCRG’s chic new office space designed by Ole Sondresen Architects.

McIver had another neon work on display at the West 10th Window exhibition space in Manhattan. Titled Love Piece, the work engages the passing public with the words “I LOVE / I WANT / I NEED”, a reference to the logic of desire in consumer culture.

McIver was invited in 2015 to participate in the Vancouver Biennale artist in residence program after Biennale director saw McIver’s Lifeless exhibition at Royale Projects in California in 2013. This Beautiful Day is an eight metre solar powered neon work situated in Downtown Squamish, its backdrop the incredible landscape of British Columbia. The Vancouver Biennale residency project was supported by a New Work Grant from the Australia Council for the Arts and the Ian Potter Cultural Trust. McIver also recently received an American Chai Trust Grant in New York to support a collaborative project with not-for-profit arts organisation Residency Unlimited. The Selfie Project is an educational artistic workshop conducted at middle schools in Brooklyn and wider New York, teaching students about social media, privacy and data footprints through the creation of a vertical garden.

McIver has yet another busy year ahead of her, returning to Melbourne April 2016 for an exhibition at James Makin Gallery and a second exhibition at Liverpool Street Gallery in Sydney in the latter half of 2016. She also recently completed a commissioned artwork at the Yorkshire Brewery development in Collingwood.

Jessica Holburn

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