McDermott & McGough
'The Aesthetic Movement'
Limited edition tea towel in Wexford linen fabric
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About the artists
David McDermott & Peter McGough (b. 1952 and 1958 respectively) have worked collaboratively since 1980. Their artistic practice is unique and all encompassing: they have used their life and art to create an unprecedented gesamtkunstwerk that explores issues of gay identity, social repression and performative time travel.
Known only by their surnames, McDermott & McGough were notorious in the bohemian downtown quarters of New York in the 1980s because of their self imposed immersion in the Victorian era. Their dress, their home, their art studios - all were strictly faithful to late nine- teenth and early twentieth century style. Dubbing their art/life practice a “time experiment,” McDermott & McGough challenged the chronological boundaries of art history and cultural identity. As Peter McGough has stated, “Our photographs are a record of our life and time ex- periment. Our paintings explained our theories of heredity, sexuality and time.”
Their work frequently addresses the homoerotic aspects of Victorian culture while acknowledging the oppressive politics of the age.
In September 2018, McDermott & McGough will stage their largest commission to date at Studio Voltaire. , The Oscar Wilde Temple is work of art and a secular space, honouring one of the forebears of gay liberation while commemorating contemporary LGBTQ+ martyrs.
Studio Voltaire has been supporting artists for over twenty years, through our renowned programme of exhibitions, performances, events and education projects as well as providing affordable studios.
We have gained a reputation for championing both emerging and underrepresented artistic practices, often at key stage in the artist’s career. These have included Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Phyllida Barlow, Ruth Ewan, Elizabeth Price, Jo Spence, Joanne Tatham & Tom O’Sullivan, Richard Slee and Cathy Wilkes.
The gallery also provides an important UK platform for international artists, often providing them their first-ever presentation in the UK. These have included Nairy Baghramian, Thea Djordjadze, Nicole Eisenman, Judith Hopf, Paulina Olowska and Henrik Olesen.