about xanda mccagg
Born in 1959, Xanda McCagg is an American artist whose abstract paintings resonate with her early interest in figuration. Based in Chelsea, in New York City, where she has maintained a studio for the past 25 years, she has exhibited her work in individual and group exhibitions in New York, Connecticut, Florida, and Massachusetts, and internationally in Paris, France, Budapest, Hungary, and Toronto, Canada. The work is well represented in private and corporate collections, such as Alliance Capital Management, New York, Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP, Boston and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York.
McCagg holds a BFA in Art Education from Boston University and has been awarded numerous residencies, including the Visiting Artists and Scholars Program at The American Academy Rome, Italy; C.A.M.A.C Marnay Sur Seine, France; Can Serrat in El Bruc Spain; The Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, Vermont; and the Contemporary Artists Center, North Adams, Massachusetts. McCagg divides her time between a dedicated art practice and her independent initiative, Art Introductions, SEE ART - MEET PEOPLE.
McCagg’s paintings push and pull our perception through layers of distilled human experience. Using the language of line, color, and mark making, McCagg’s work comments on the dichotomies that shape our lives on both an intimate and global level. Observing the world around her, exploring the cause and effect of shifting relationships as they occur in nature and in humanity, creating compositions that speak to memory, metaphor, and perception.
Using this concept as her beacon, McCagg weaves traces of experience together into paintings that edge between abstraction and a suggestion of figuration. The resulting dialogue between form and content, shape and vivid color is an ever-evolving conversation.
In her recent work, McCagg has drawn from impressions from history, looking back as a way of making sense of the present. Beginning with a cross, she masks it onto the canvas as an understructure upon which to build. Gradually veils of paint cover and alter the vertical and horizontal lines, allowing the cross to take on a new meaning. Working with the notion of “Icon” as an iteration of her focus on relationships, McCagg assembles small, large, and pieced-together canvases as visual wholes that echo in the manner of icons or totems as metaphor.
Embodied in these paintings is the deep human need for hope so pronounced in these times. Connecting to the universality of art that communicates through the centuries, from one hand to an eye, to the brain and back out, interpreted by each individual – that is the depth of understanding.
In 2014 McCagg launched ~ Xanda McCagg Projects, as an offshoot of Art Introductions. This studio setting is a forum for exhibitions and events highlighting artists and art forms that embody a framework for dialogue, education, and inspiration for the public. Her work can be seen by appointment.