Col Tempo - Collaboration with Peter Forgacs
Hungarian Pavilion, Venice Biennale

A.I.R Gallery Press Release

A.I.R. Gallery Artist Louise McCagg at the 53rd International Venice Biennale NEW YORK, NY, APRIL 2009 A.I.R. Gallery is pleased to announce that Gallery Artist Louise McCagg has been invited to the 53rd Venice Biennale in the Hungarian Pavilion as part of Peter Forgacs's Col Tempo, With Time - The Wastl Project. This year's Biennale titled Making Worlds will be open to the public from 7th June to 22nd November 2009.

As an artist of a generation that saw feminist art proliferate, McCagg's work is classical in method and contemporary in its political inquiry. Her work is exhibited as freestanding sculpture, friezes, books, and as masks created for theatrical performances. McCagg casts the faces of hundreds of individuals and reduces her molds to the size she requires. Through this process, she maintains the unique qualities and emotional depth of the individual, while showing the commonality among diverse cultures.

McCagg lived in Budapest, Hungary between 1966 and 1967 and has since been a frequent visitor. The political culture of Eastern Europe had a major impact on her, one that continues to inform both her solo and collaborative projects to this day. McCagg's participation in the Venice Biennale this summer is the result of a dialogue between Peter Forgacs and McCagg. Forgacs's visits to McCagg's studio space in New York City created a corporeal connection between his films and her sculptures. The Hungarian Pavilion project by Forgacs, Col Tempo, With Time - The Wastl Project, proposes a rich connection between historical events that started unraveling at the end of World War II and sculptures that are created in a harmonious coexistence between life and death.

Writing in The New York Times, the critic Michael Brenson spoke of Louise McCagg's work as Breugelesque -- "quirky, troubling [and] oracular." McCagg's signature heads -- reduced from life-size portraits and cast in bronze, aluminum, wax and paper -- take on an impression of the otherworldly. The artist says, "As the heads decrease in size, their connection to the original fades; they are not portraits; yet they could not exist without the original life mask. They are now free to be my agents of love and horror, caring and bravado, silliness and oddness: the human condition." McCagg lives and works in New York City and has shown her work throughout the U.S. and internationally. She has exhibited at A.I.R. Gallery for over twenty years. McCagg's work has been collected by major museums and universities: The City of East Lansing; Dana Hall School, Wellesley; Lyman Allyn Museum, New London; University of California, San Diego; Kresge Art Museum, East Lansing; Yale University Library, New Haven; Museum of Fine Art, Budapest, Hungary; Petoefi Museum of Literature, Budapest, Hungary; The Szechenyi Library, Budapest, Hungary; Saint Stefan Museum, Szekesfehervar, Hungary. For more information about Louise McCagg's work, please contact Kat Griefen at A.I.R. Gallery at 212-255-6651 or by email at

Installation View I
Case with Alginates, 2009: Installation View I

Installation View II
Case with Alginates, 2009: Installation View II

Detail I
Case with Alginates, 2009: Detail I

Detail II
Case with Alginates, 2009: Detail II

Detail III
Case with Alginates, 2009: Detail III

Installation Process
Col Tempo, 2009: Installation Process

Installation process
Alginates, 2009: Installation process

Installation Process
Alginates, 2009: Installation Process

Hungarian Inauguration Ceremony
Col Tempo, 2009: Hungarian Inauguration Ceremony

Visitors, Artists
Col Tempo, 2009: Visitors, Artists

Louise McCagg 

Visitors, Artist: Peter Forgacs
Col Tempo, 2009: Visitors, Artist: Peter Forgacs