Megan Rooney’s first solo exhibition at Thaddaeus Ropac presents entirely new paintings – ten large-scale and one monumental – alongside a selection of works on paper from Old Baggy Root, an ongoing series of abstracted portraits. Through layers of ethereal forms, she creates abstracted narratives without a discernible beginning or end. Her impassioned color compositions are wedded to the idea of memory and the experiential perception of color, which can forge or summon an environment.
Comprising entirely new works, the exhibition will present 10 large-scale paintings and one monumental canvas alongside a selection of works on paper from Old Baggy Root, an ongoing series of surreal portraits exploring figuration and the complex range of emotions experienced in moments of observation. The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated essay, The locust tree in bloom (2021), by writer Emily LaBarge.
The exhibition follows recent solo museum and institutional shows, including at the Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg (2020–21); Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto (2020); SALTS, Basel (2019–20); and Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (2019), as well as performances at the Serpentine Galleries in 2015 and 2018.
Bones Roots Fruits celebrates Rooney’s ability to seamlessly work across differing scales. Whether executed over a period of months on large-scale canvases or swiftly at a table-top for the Old Baggy Root series, she creates compelling images that can be explored as forms of memory and transformation. The exhibition’s title is taken from the artist’s recent experiences, with subjects drawn directly from her own life and surroundings that are deeply invested in the present moment. Through layers of ethereal forms, she creates abstracted narratives without a discernible beginning or end. Punctuating these layers with a contrasting dash of color or energetic line, her paintings draw the viewer in only to disrupt their gaze with these unexpected elements.