Elizabeth McGrath

Elizabeth McGrath

Exhibition: Sep 5 – Dec 29, 2019

International Artist-in-Residence alumnus Elizabeth McGrath (born 1967) graduated from Austin College in 1989 and received her M.F.A. from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 1993. She was selected to participate in Artpace’s London Studio Program in 1995 and the following year, she was in-residence at Artpace in the spring. From San Antonio, she moved to New York to pursue her career as an artist, but instead she discovered her passion for psychoanalysis, leading her to her current practice of psychotherapy.

Though she stopped exhibiting her work around 2002, she continued to create. The works on view in this exhibition hail from as early as 1989 (Predicament) and as recent as 2012 (Mountain Peak with Snow). The centerpieces of this exhibition are Broken and Please Watch Your Step, which were both part of her 1996 Artpace project. Each work on view underscores her ceaseless fascination with materials and her poetic, disarming combinations of the pedestrian and unexpected. Predicament began as a solid form constructed from found pieces of wood. Displeased, McGrath drilled holes in it; then, still unsatisfied, she filled the holes with Bondo. Its title refers to the quandaries she encountered throughout its conception. Broken combines a disintegrating wooden chair with a silk crochet covering that is her poetic attempt at repair. She deliberately challenges the viewer’s expectations of subjects, materials, and art itself, while also confronting her own preconceptions throughout her creative process.

In artmaking as well as counseling, McGrath privileges the dynamics not just among materials, but among artworks in an exhibition setting. Whether between materials, therapist and client, or experience and feeling, the investigation of these relationships spawns new ways of thinking and understanding.


Elizabeth McGrath

San Antonio, Texas, USA

Elizabeth McGrath, who was based in San Antonio at the time of her Artpace residency, is currently a psychotherapist in Boulder, CO. In her prior career as an artist, she made things that went together as installations. Her work often evoked associations with domestic materials and experiences, including the work she created during her Artpace residency in 1996.
McGrath graduated from Austin College, received her MFA at the University of Texas at San Antonio and went on to earn a MA in Transpersonal Counseling from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado.
In 1994 she was selected by a regional panel of arts professionals who convened at Artpace to participate in the Foundation’s London Studio program in April 1995, for which she spent six weeks in England. The same year she also received a Mid-American Arts Alliance/NEA Fellowship Award in sculpture.
She moved to New York City in 1998, entered in psychoanalysis, and eventually decided to pursue a different profession. She currently practices as a registered psychotherapist in Boulder, where she works with individuals, couples and specializes in facilitating psychotherapy groups.
Image courtesy of the artist.

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