France-Lise McGurn What Everyone Wants

Installation view, 'What Everyone Wants', The Modern Institute, Aird's Lane, 2024
Installation view, 'What Everyone Wants', The Modern Institute, Aird's Lane, 2024
Installation view, 'What Everyone Wants', The Modern Institute, Aird's Lane, 2024
Installation view, 'What Everyone Wants', The Modern Institute, Aird's Lane, 2024
Installation view, 'What Everyone Wants', The Modern Institute, Aird's Lane, 2024
Desire underpins the work of France-Lise McGurn. This desire threads through music, TV and popular culture, emerging in this painting installation via a succession of figures, marks, colours, and words. The exhibition’s title situates her work perfectly within this Dionysian space of abandon and spontaneity. What Everyone Wants: talk, dance, sex, painting.

McGurn’s imagery often utilises her experiences of the city and the title derives from a place from Glasgow’s recent past. The legendary, shop What Everyone Wants (formerly What Every Woman Wants) founded in 1971 by Vera and Gerald Weisfeld in Glasgow. The business was built on marketing London fashion at affordable prices and the company quickly became a landmark of the UK high street in the 80’s. The flagship shop in Glasgow’s city centre is now demolished. The artist jokes, What Everyone Wants is gone.
Installation view, 'What Everyone Wants', The Modern Institute, Aird's Lane, 2024
Installation view, 'What Everyone Wants', The Modern Institute, Aird's Lane, 2024
Installation view, 'What Everyone Wants', The Modern Institute, Aird's Lane, 2024
Installation view, 'What Everyone Wants', The Modern Institute, Aird's Lane, 2024
Installation view, 'What Everyone Wants', The Modern Institute, Aird's Lane, 2024
The installation mixes wall paintings and works on canvas with the bright, ebullient colours of 80’s and 90’s window displays and shop advertisements filtering into both. For this presentation, McGurn has been drawing from various sources, from the film Mr Jolly Lives Next Door (1988), to flop rom-com Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1993), advertisements from the Yellow Pages, and the immersive video MINUCODE (1968) by Marta Minujín which documents four cocktail parties. Fluid shapes echo and repeat across her works speaking to a collapse of time and the recurrent movements of quotidian cycles – day to night, sober to drunk, turned-off to turned-on. Phone numbers, titles and other notes are scrawled down the sides and across the various painted surfaces, resembling shopping lists, writing on CDs, a message noted down while on the phone, a joke in a toilet cubicle. The necessary but intuitive nature of these writings speaks to the everyday, un-precious but romantic atmosphere of the show.

The exhibition is accompanied by a boutique publication housing a newly commissioned text by John Douglas Millar.
Installation view, 'What Everyone Wants', The Modern Institute, Aird's Lane, 2024
Installation view, 'What Everyone Wants', The Modern Institute, Aird's Lane, 2024
Installation view, 'What Everyone Wants', The Modern Institute, Aird's Lane, 2024
Installation view, 'What Everyone Wants', The Modern Institute, Aird's Lane, 2024
Installation view, 'What Everyone Wants', The Modern Institute, Aird's Lane, 2024
France-Lise McGurn (b. 1983, Glasgow, UK) is based in London, UK. Selected solo exhibitions include: ‘House Of Voltaire Presents France-Lise McGurn’, Studio Voltaire, London, UK (2023); ‘Aloud’, commission for Glasgow International, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, UK (2021); ‘In Emotia’, Tramway, Glasgow, UK (2020); ‘Bodytronic’, Kunsthaus Pasquart, Biel, Switzerland (2020); ‘Art Now: France-Lise McGurn, Sleepless’, Tate Britain, London, UK (2019); ‘Solo’, Recent Activity Gallery, Birmingham, UK (2017); and 3am, Satellites Programme, Collective Gallery, Edinburgh, UK (2015). Select group exhibitions include: ‘Body en Thrall’, Rugby Art Gallery and Museum, Rugby, UK (2022); ‘Drawing Biennial 2021’, Drawing Room, London, UK (2021); ‘New Arrivals: From Salvador Dali to Jenny Saville, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art’, Edinburgh, UK (2021); ‘My Kid Could’ve Done That’, The Edge, Bath, UK (2021); ‘Mark Making: Perspectives on Drawing’, Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, UK (2019); ‘A Weakness For Raisins’, CCA, Glasgow, UK (2018); ‘Foundation Painting Show’, Glasgow International, British Heart Foundation, Glasgow, UK (2018); ‘Virginia Woolf: An Exhibition Inspired By Her Writings’, Tate St. Ives, St. Ives, UK (2018, this exhibition travelled to Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, UK and The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK); ‘Wall-Sun-Sun’, Une Une Une, Perpignan, France (2017); ‘(X)A Fantasy’, David Roberts Art Foundation, London, UK (2017); ‘Le Nouveau Voyeurisme’, Hotel Contemporary, Milan, Italy (2017); Radical Vulnerability, Caustic Coastal, Manchester, UK (2016); ‘Home Salon’, Marcelle Joseph Projects, Ascot, UK (2016); ‘Only With A Light Touch Will You Write Well, Freely and Fast’, David Dale Gallery, Glasgow, UK (2015).
Mr jolly Lives next Door, 2024

Oil and marker on canvas
40 x 50 x 2 cm, 15 3/4 x 19 3/4 x 3/4 in

Mr jolly Lives next Door, 2024

Oil and marker on canvas
40 x 50 x 2 cm, 15 3/4 x 19 3/4 x 3/4 in

Even cowgirls, 2024

Oil and marker on canvas
140.5 x 110.2 x 2.6 cm, 55 1/4 x 43 3/8 x 1 in

Even cowgirls, 2024

Oil and marker on canvas
140.5 x 110.2 x 2.6 cm, 55 1/4 x 43 3/8 x 1 in

To die for, 2024

Oil and marker on canvas
200 x 220.8 x 4.6 cm, 78 3/4 x 86 7/8 x 1 3/4 in

To die for, 2024

Oil and marker on canvas
200 x 220.8 x 4.6 cm, 78 3/4 x 86 7/8 x 1 3/4 in

Boyfriends, 2024

Oil and marker on canvas
200 x 300 x 4.6 cm, 78 3/4 x 118 1/8 x 1 3/4 in

Boyfriends, 2024

Oil and marker on canvas
200 x 300 x 4.6 cm, 78 3/4 x 118 1/8 x 1 3/4 in

Film bang, 2024

Oil and marker on canvas
140.5 x 110.2 x 2.6 cm, 55 1/4 X 43 3/8 X 1 in

Film bang, 2024

Oil and marker on canvas
140.5 x 110.2 x 2.6 cm, 55 1/4 X 43 3/8 X 1 in

Shampoo, 2024

Oil and marker on canvas
50.2 x 50 x 2.5 cm, 19 3/4 x 19 3/4 x 1 in

Shampoo, 2024

Oil and marker on canvas
50.2 x 50 x 2.5 cm, 19 3/4 x 19 3/4 x 1 in

Like putty, 2024

Oil and marker on canvas
75.2 x 80.2 x 2.5 cm, 29 5/8 x 31 5/8 x 1 in

Like putty, 2024

Oil and marker on canvas
75.2 x 80.2 x 2.5 cm, 29 5/8 x 31 5/8 x 1 in

Cool is not cold, 2024

Oil and marker on canvas
180.5 x 200.6 x 3.5 cm, 71 x 79 x 1 3/8 in

Cool is not cold, 2024

Oil and marker on canvas
180.5 x 200.6 x 3.5 cm, 71 x 79 x 1 3/8 in

Strawberry, 2024

Oil and marker on canvas
35.4 x 40.5 x 2.5 cm, 14 x 16 x 1 in

Strawberry, 2024

Oil and marker on canvas
35.4 x 40.5 x 2.5 cm, 14 x 16 x 1 in

Banana yop, 2024

Oil and marker on canvas
60.4 x 70.1 x 3.6 cm, 23 3/4 x 27 5/8 x 1 3/8 in

Banana yop, 2024

Oil and marker on canvas
60.4 x 70.1 x 3.6 cm, 23 3/4 x 27 5/8 x 1 3/8 in

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