Mac-Gryder Gallery Presents Carali McCall’s First North American Live Endurance Art Performance: Work No. 1, Circle Drawing
London-based artist will perform live on opening night in New Orleans
October 23, 2019 (New Orleans, LA) – Continuing its tradition of hosting groundbreaking firsts in the Crescent City, the Mac-Gryder Gallery, a contemporary space in the heart of New Orleans’ Arts District, will present performance artist Carali McCall’s “An Arm’s Reach: The Art of Endurance” with a live drawing performed by the artist in the gallery on the night of the opening, Saturday, Nov. 2.
Beginning at 5:30 p.m., the artist will commence one of her mesmerizing “Circle Drawing” performances, which will last approximately 3 hours as she works continuously to the point of muscle failure. The performance will be filmed live for a documentary.
McCall’s recent series of 13 circle and line drawings will be on display throughout the gallery through Nov. 30.
During her Circle Drawing performances, McCall is not merely just drawing a circle. Her performances consist of her continuously drawing circles counterclockwise without lifting her stick of graphite off the paper. The final product is many circles superimposed atop one another in one unbroken line.
"The more someone engages and thinks about the act of drawing and making a circle with one continuous line, the more complex and philosophical it can become,” McCall said. “That's the love of art – the more you give, the more you get. A line and a circle are complete and satisfying visuals, thought-provoking shapes, and conceptual constructs."
The striking large-scale, continuous line drawings, in circular and elliptical shapes, are drawn with a specially formulated graphite stick made to withstand the prolonged friction on paper first brushed with watercolor or acrylic paint and liquid gold and silver leaf.
Each performance is different and can last up to 3 hours, producing a unique one-of-a-kind image with each new performance. McCall uses her body as a tool, relying on a live audience to give her something to respond to as she performs. She is determined to break her record of two hours and 57 minutes for her first performance in North America
A native of Canada, McCall earned her Master of Fine Arts at University College London’s Slade School of Fine Art and her doctorate at Central Saint Martins University of the Arts, also in London. She continues the objectives that Sol LeWitt and other conceptual performance artists pioneered in the late 1960s and early 1970s on the concepts of the nature of drawing. Her “Work No. 1 (Circle Drawing)” is a series that uses the body and energy to create durational artworks.
“Her art is an act of endurance that is, as a concept, something we can all relate to,” said gallery co-owner Jill McGaughey. “But for her, it is both a means and an end. The finished drawings hit us on multiple levels, both emotional and intellectual, and stay with us not only for their profound beauty but the meaning they contain and as a record of time and of life, lived.”
To witness McCall in action is to become fully enthralled and enlivened. The repetition is mesmerizing. Like waves breaking upon a shore, her counterclockwise motion has a unique rhythm as her hand orbits around an emerging center.