McDermott & McGough

David McDermott was born in 1952 in Hollywood, California. He studied at Syracuse University, New York from 1970 to 1974. Peter McGough was born in 1958 in Syracuse, and studied at the same university in 1976. Their paths never crossed until they both moved to New York City some years later and started their artistic collaboration in 1980. They have since become well known for their way of blending art and daily life. Their photography involves appropriating images and objects from the late 19th century to the mid 20th century, where they project an image of themselves as gentlemen, posing as erudite, impertinent characters. In this way they have chosen to immerse themselves in the period of the Victorian era at the close of the 19th century to the style of the 1930s. During the 1980s, McDermott & McGough dressed, lived, and worked as artists and “men about town,” about 1900-­1928: they wore top hats and detachable collars, and converted their townhouse on Avenue C in New York City’s East Village, which was lit only by candlelight, to their authentic mid-­19th century ideal. Like their lifestyle, their photographs and paintings betoken a flat refusal to embrace the historical present. This obsession with the past is reflected in the subjects and styles they bring back to life, and in the precise fictional dates they give to their works. The personal dimension of their work makes it into a deliberately provocative and controversial contemporary artistic performance dealing with political and sociological issues.
McDermott & McGough are best known for using alternative historical processes in their photography, including the techniques of cyanotype, gum bichromate, salt, tri color carbo, platinum and palladium. Among the subjects they approach are popular art and culture, religion, medicine, advertising, time, fashion and sexual behavior. McDermott & McGough’s work has appeared in solo and group exhibitions at institutions such as Cheim & Read, Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, Pat Hearn Gallery, Massimo Audiello Gallery, Galleria Gian Enzo Sperone, Sperone Westwater, Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Whitney Museum of American Art, New Museum of Contemporary Art, Centre Pompidou, Kunsthalle Wien, Manezh Moscow and the Irish Museum of Modern Art. Previous exhibitions also include the Whitney Biennial, New York, in 1987, 1991 and 1995. McDermott & McGough mounted a mid-­career retrospective at the Provincial Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Oostende, Belgium. The artist duo currently split their time between Dublin and New York city.
Recent solo shows:
2016
Velvet Rage. Flaming Youth and The Gift of Desperation, James Fuentes Gallery, NY, USA
The Temple of Photographich Art, Galerie Andrea Caratsch, St. Moritz, CH
2015
Cyan Light And Abstract, M77 Gallery, Milan, IT
2014
Paintings, Jablonka Maruani Mercier Gallery, Brussels, BE
Detroit Series, Jablonka Maruani Mercier Gallery, Brussels, BE
2013
Suspicious of Rooms Without Music Of Atmosphere, Cheim & Read, NY, USA
McDermott & McGough, Galerie Andrea Caratsch, Zurich, CH
2012
In Dreams You’re Mine, Galérie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris, FR
The Palm Beach Story Whatever Happened To Baby Jane, (two person show with Jack Pierson), Sarah Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, FL, USA
2011
Of Beauty And Being, Cheim & Read, NY, USA
An Experience Of Amusing Chemistry. Photographs 1990-­1890, Manezh Central Exhibition Hall, Moscow, RUS
2010
26 Sandymount Avenue, Kinsthalle, Wien, A
What Do You Mean To Me, Galérie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris, FR
2009
Detroit: Carbro Prints 1958, Weinstein Gallery, Minneapolis, USA
Without You I Am Nothing, Galérie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris, FR
2008
Detroit: Carbro Prints 1958, Nicholas Robinson Gallery, NY, USA

Traveling to The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, USA
An Experience Of Amusing Chemistry, Photographs 1990-­1890, Irish Museum of Moder Art, Dublin, IRL
Because Of Him, Cheim & Read, NY, USA
2007
Please Don’t Stop Loving Me!, Galérie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris, FR
Recent group shows:
2016
A Selection of Works From the 1980’s, Vito Schnabel Gallery, St. Moritz, CH
12 New Yorkers, JMM Gallery, Brussels, BE
2013
Artist/Rebel/Dandy: Men Of Fashion, The Museum Of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Rhode Island, USA
Terrible Twos, Villa du Parc Centre d’Art Contemporain, Annemasse, FR
2012
Portrait Of A Generation, The Hole Gallery, NY, USA
Portrait/Self-­Portraits. From The 16th to the 21st Century, Sperone Westwater, NY, USA
L’Art d’Aimer. De Fragonard à Nos Jours, Le Palais Lumiere, Evian, FR
L’Histoire Est À Moi! Le Printemps de Septembre, Curated by Paul Ardenne, Toulouse, FR
Home Is Ercole Home, Curated by Massimo Audiello, NY, USA

Recent group shows:

Eric Firestone Gallery, East Hampton, NY, USA
2011
Already-­Made?, Galérie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris, FR
Creating The New Century: Contemporary Art From The Dicke Collection, The Dayton Art Institute, Ohio, USA
Noir Film Festival, Zagreb, Croatia, HR
Sentimental Education, Sarah Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, FL, USA
2010
Look Again, Marlborough Chelsea, NY, USA
A Shaded View On Fashion Film, Centre Pompidou, Paris, FR
Brucennial 2010: Miseducation, Curated by Vito Schnabel, NY, USA
C’est La Vie! Vanités De Caravage à Damien Hirst, Musee Maillol, Paris, FR
Detroit, Kunsthalle, Wien, A
The 80S Revisited: The Bischofberger Collection, Kunsthalle Bielefeld, DE
Brune/Blonde, Cinématique Française, Paris, FR
Beyond The Figure: Abstract Sculpture In The Norton Museum Collection, Norton Museum Of Art, Palm Beach, FL, USA
2009
Traces: Imma Limited Editions, Irish Museum Of Modern Art, Dublin, IRL
Vraoum! Tresors De La Bande Dessinée et Art Contemporain, La Maison Rouge, Fondation Anotine de Galbert, Paris, FR
Influence Pop, Galérie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris, FR
2008
Wall Rocket: Contemporary Artists And Ed Ruscha, curated by Lisa Dennison, The FLAG Art Foundation, NY      

Traveling to Albright-­Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, USA
Old Weird America, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston

Traveling to De Cordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA

Frye Museum, Seattle, USA
I Won’t Grow Up, Cheim & Read, NY, USA
2007
I Am As You Will Be: The Skeleton In Art, Cheim & Read, NY, USA
Cinéma, Galérie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris, FR
Warhol Portrayed, Cetro Cuktural y de Arte “La Casa Encendida”, Madrid, ES
Archetype, Galérie Jérôme de Noirmont at FIAC 2007, Grand Palais, Paris, FR

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