Megan Rooney A wax rose. A soft punch to the ear

Works in the exhibition

Division Gallery is pleased to present Megan Rooney’s first solo exhibition in Canada, A wax rose. A soft punch to the ear.

Canadian artist Megan Rooney is an enigmatic storyteller, exploring the communicative potential of image and text, looking to sites which are simultaneously familiar and strange, seducing and repulsing. Scrawling murals, found objects, written and spoken word, painted tableaux, and drawings are sets pullulated with recognizable bulbous figures, lashed and smeared in greasy makeup, loosely formed in the memories they enact. Offhand and abrupt, Rooney’s staccato poetry drops us into the dreamy haze of their world, distorted by the romantic rubble memory culls. The realms most often explored by the artist form the backdrops for a coming-of-age, in that they are teeming with pleasure not totally resolved.

Rooney’s work splices the intensely personal and that which is shared and communal, noting that the two interlock with ease—distinctions which collapse under the weight of indecent lived-in-ness. Cherubic and full, the invariant style of her cast allows for shapeshifting. These characters, for example, easily slip over the models of highstreet takeaway magazines in Rooney’s drawings, while asserting themselves as the protagonists of their own private narratives in wafting murals. Places and people adrift in recollection radiate here as blush-pink and acid yellow abstractions; primal and abject scenes of self-affirming marking; strewn compositions for Rooney’s engrossing turn to new kind of sentimentality.

Megan Rooney lives and works between London and Toronto. She holds an MFA from Goldsmiths London. Solo exhibitions have been presented at Seventeen Gallery, London; Croy Nielsen, Berlin; Almanac Inn, Turin, and CRAC Alsace. Her work has been presented in group exhibitions including Ministry of Internal Affairs: Intimacy as Text, MOMA Warsaw; A pool is water, Division Gallery, Montreal; Grand Gestures, Freymond-Guth Fine Arts, Basel; Natural Instincts, Les Urbaines, Lausannes; Basic Instinct, Seventeen Gallery, London. Performances of her work have been commissioned for Serpentines Galleries, London; LUMA foundation, Gstaad, Switzerland; Cell Project Space, London; Frieze Performance Program, and the AGO, Toronto.


For more information on the artist