January 9 – February 8, 2014
Greene Naftali is pleased to announce an exhibition by Scottish artist Michael Fullerton. This will be his second solo show at the gallery and his first solo presentation in New York since 2006.
Meaning, Inc. expands the artist’s ongoing investigation of media, technology, and justice with an exhibition that questions the social or civic relevance of art—and especially painting—in the age of information and mass media. Like most of the subjects in Fullerton’s portraits, the figures featured in this exhibition are invested with varying types of ideological conviction. They are Internet entrepreneurs, media moguls, leaders in the cryptology community, and icons of the golden age of cinematic production. For Fullerton, painting is not merely aesthetic object, not merely flat surface, but a mediated container brimming with information.
Employing wall texts, lasers, large-scale screen prints, and classical oil portraits inspired by 18th Century painter Thomas Gainsborough, Fullerton approaches his exhibitions with an uncanny playfulness. Not limiting himself to one medium or mode of display, Fullerton uses every aspect of exhibition-making in thinking about visual implements of power. By mining the biographies of historical and contemporary figures at the forefront of media, Fullerton likewise highlights the rapid proliferation of data and its dissemination. In The Producer, Fullerton captures the image of Samuel Goldwyn, the founder of MGM (previously Goldwyn pictures), one of the leading producers and distributors of films. This painting is juxtaposed with Ultramarine (Kim Dotcom, Auckland, 2013), the controversial Internet entrepreneur and founder of Megaupload—a website that allegedly distributed copyrighted material and for which Dotcom is currently fighting extradition to the USA on a $500 million racketeering charge for Internet piracy.
Other subjects include Gordon Jarvie, a Scottish ex member of the British special forces; Peter Gutman, a renowned cryptologist who developed the industry-standard 35-pass erasure method for secure deletion of information on magnetic media; and Derek McGill, the governor of HMP Barlinnie (Her Majesty’s Prison) in Glasgow, Scotland. These are joined by popular symbols such as the MGM Lion, Snow White, and more.
Michael Fullerton (b. 1971, Bellshill, Scotland) studied at the Glasgow School of Art and is based in Glasgow. He has had solo exhibitions at Chisenhale Gallery, London (2010); Carl Freedman Gallery, London (2007); Greene Naftali Gallery, New York (2006); Tate Britain, London (2005); CCA Glasgow (2005); and Transmission Gallery, Glasgow (2003). Recent group exhibitions include Learning to Draw/Drawing to Learn: The Glasgow School of Art, Fleming Collection, London (2013); A Picture Show, GoMA, Glasgow (2013); Dawn Chorus: New Works in the Arts Council Collection, Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds (2012); The Irregular Correct: New Art from Glasgow, Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle, Australia (2012).