Ian McMahon

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My large-scale durational sculptures reshape the atmosphere of the spaces in which they reside. I use materials typically employed in architectural fabrication. Each piece, while referencing an architectonic language, sets out to challenge notions of fabricated space while highlighting the absurdity and magnificence of construction. The work transforms the routine and subconscious relationship between people, space, and time by developing responses that challenge our senses and disrupt the familiar. By demanding the body’s complete attention, the work confronts the catalogued vernacular of spatial memory, and situates the viewer in the present moment by awakening the full spectrum of bodily senses.

Space, whether in the studio or at a specific site, becomes a stage upon which I respond. On this stage, my actions, movements, and methods are recorded through my materials. Each resulting sculpture is a residue of these performative actions. Through layers of disclosure, my pieces operate in between the actions of construction and deconstruction. Although essentially sculptural in nature, my installations highlight the objective nature of temporal experience.



Ian McMahon received his MFA in Sculpture and Extended Media from Virginia Commonwealth University and his BFA in Ceramics from the New York State College of Ceramics, Alfred University. From 2009 to 2013 he was a recipient of a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship; in 2015 he was awarded a New York Foundation of the Arts Artist Fellowship; and in 2016 he was a first place recipient of the Virginia Groot Foundation Fellowship. McMahon’s work has been shown both nationally and internationally at venues including Crane Arts, Philadelphia; The Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland; Pierogi Boiler Room, New York; G-Fine Arts, Washington, D.C.; Bemis Center For Contemporary Arts, Omaha; Suyama Space, Seattle; T & H Gallery, Boston; and Tang Contemporary, Beijing, China; among others. From mobile tractor-trailers to abandoned warehouses and galleries, McMahon’s work confronts and transforms both unconventional and conventional spaces. His sculptures challenge the permanence of art and place through performative and material-focused temporal constructions. Currently living in Newburgh, New York, he is the co-founder and co-director of the Belfry, an artist-run exhibition venue.

Experience the art of Ian McMahon in Peripheral Vision No. 8

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