“Home Again” Private Collection
“Home Again Again” Articus Collection
Both 2009, oil and charcoal on board, 1070x 800mm
“Home Again Again” comes from a series of work exploring personal genealogy and ideas around multiple generations working together and sharing knowledge towards a common goal. In this case the common vision of returning home together, depicted in the cell like cluster of homes they are staring towards.
As is the case in many of McGorry’s paintings compositional elements arise from his studies of Renaissance art in Italy. “Home Again Again” borrows from Luca Signorelli’s 7-metre wide fresco “The Resurrection of the Flesh” (1499-1502) in the Chapel of San Brizio, Orvieto Cathedral, Tuscany. It was here that the artist drew every morning while studying renaissance frescos with the New York Studio School in Italy.
Rather than slavishly copying any one, two or three figures from Signorelli, McGorry has borrowed the general disposition and attitudes of the figures: climbing out of one state (death) and into another (resurrection); and their upward gaze. He has therefore linked the resurrection moment (“and the dead shall be raised”) with a contemporary experience of “coming home” to ones roots or origins; a return that happens over and over again, from generation to generation to generation.
The work loosely suggests that the figures are rising from some indeterminate protoplasmic ooze, signified by the pink colour and the cytoplasm below the central figure’s right foot. In McGorry’s painting the figures do not gaze Heavenward; although they do gaze skywards, looking at a cluster of homes. But these houses are visceral and earthly. Mirroring the life and death allegory of Signorelli McGorry’s blue orb signals each man’s genetic beginnings (their heredity) and embodied end (their progeny) in its cluster of houses rendered like the early moments of cell-division in the womb.
Thus “Home Again Again” spans five centuries of art history and the several generations of McGorry’s own family.
By Rob Garrett