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Kevin McNamee-Tweed: Moon Over Math Town

October 28 – December 5, 2020

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Kevin McNamee-Tweed: Moon Over Math Town

They have many ways to measure existence
Time and Science and Literature and Music
And many many numbers 
But the moon still comes up

Moon Over Math Town, Kevin McNamee-Tweed’s first exhibition with Harper’s, features a selection of new ceramic paintings, drawings, and handmade ceramic spoons. With stylistic virtuosity and a dislocated sense of authorship, McNamee-Tweed’s ceramic paintings are at once quotidian and enigmatic. Anchored firmly in the tradition of painting and image-making, the modestly scaled, technically complex works feature vivid surfaces and textures; an image with a heightened corporeal presence. The group of drawings, all pencil on mulberry paper, demonstrate aesthetic and thematic dexterity while plainly celebrating the mechanics of making marks and images. Visual Culture, in these drawings and paintings, is strained to the point of incoherence as the acts of looking and of deciphering replace messaging. 

In the array of handmade ceramic spoons, the artist offers a pivot from pictorial concerns. Using a range of clay bodies, including those dug up from the earth around his home in Iowa City, the collection of spoons signals the importance of experimentation, research, and play in McNamee-Tweed’s practice. The body of work holds firmly to a simple premise and a simple form, yet, in exhausting the language of a spoon, begins to unravel the very definition of what is a familiar, faultlessly utilitarian, and elegant everyday object. Underpinning all the work on view in Moon Over Math Town is a fundamental curiosity about meaning-making—its limits, its depths, its plateaus.

I am interested in considering the ways in which we measure existence. Always I am looking at science, literature, math, sports, community, romance, self-hood, etcetera as compelling ways of imposing some scale and proportion to what is infinite and unfathomable. I’m trying to think and not think myself through all that. Objects and images are not entirely satisfactory conclusions of such questions but they are perhaps okay examples of what it feels like to be alive. I hope that my work can befriend the staggering and heartbreaking assumptions inherent in any pursuit of understanding / knowledge / whatever but will also articulate an awareness of some very sweet and infinite void.

– Kevin McNamee-Tweed

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Kevin McNamee-Tweed

No Terrorists, Please!, 2020

Glazed ceramic

13h x 11w in

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Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Bulbs, 2020

Glazed ceramic

9h x 11w in

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Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Gourds, 2020

Glazed ceramic

13h x 8.63w in

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Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Shelves (accumen), 2020

Glazed ceramic

13h x 10.25w in

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Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Hurts, 2020

Glazed ceramic

13h x 8.25w in

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Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Night Light, 2020

Glazed ceramic

9h x 8w in

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Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Three Times Two, 2020

Glazed ceramic

9h x 7.50w in

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Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Tintoretto, 2020

Glazed ceramic

8.50h x 6w in

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Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Faucet, 2020

Glazed ceramic

6.88h x 5.75w in

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Kevin McNamee-Tweed

I'll Be the Hit of the Party, 2020

Glazed ceramic

8.50h x 6.13w in

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Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Reaching Hastings, 2020

Glazed ceramic

7h x 5.50w in

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Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Sallies's, 2020

Glazed ceramic

10h x 6w in

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Kevin McNamee-Tweed

The Hole, 2020

Glazed ceramic

6.50h x 5.88w in

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Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Walk, 2020

Glazed ceramic

6h x 5w in

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Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Spoons, 2020

Installation of 84 glazed ceramic spoons

Dimensions variable

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Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Frannie (always July, always Fred), 2020

Pencil on mulberry paper

8h x 10.25w in

Framed: 15h x 17w in

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Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Hoobwink in V/A, 2020

Pencil on mulberry paper

8.50h x 10w in

Framed: 15h x 17w in

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Kevin McNamee-Tweed

KcKB, 2020

Pencil on mulberry paper

10.25h x 8.50w in

Framed: 17h x 15w in

Inquire

Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Nite Corner, 2020

Pencil on mulberry paper

10.50h x 8.50w in

Framed: 17h x 15w in

Inquire

Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Rosepss, 2019

Pencil on mulberry paper

10.25h x 6w in

Framed: 17h x 13w in

Inquire

Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Trebo, 2020

Pencil on mulberry paper

8.50h x 10.50w in

Framed: 15h x 17w in

Inquire

Kevin McNamee-Tweed

No Terrorists, Please!, 2020

Glazed ceramic

13h x 11w in

Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Bulbs, 2020

Glazed ceramic

9h x 11w in

Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Gourds, 2020

Glazed ceramic

13h x 8.63w in

Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Shelves (accumen), 2020

Glazed ceramic

13h x 10.25w in

Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Hurts, 2020

Glazed ceramic

13h x 8.25w in

Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Night Light, 2020

Glazed ceramic

9h x 8w in

Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Three Times Two, 2020

Glazed ceramic

9h x 7.50w in

Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Tintoretto, 2020

Glazed ceramic

8.50h x 6w in

Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Faucet, 2020

Glazed ceramic

6.88h x 5.75w in

Kevin McNamee-Tweed

I'll Be the Hit of the Party, 2020

Glazed ceramic

8.50h x 6.13w in

Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Reaching Hastings, 2020

Glazed ceramic

7h x 5.50w in

Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Sallies's, 2020

Glazed ceramic

10h x 6w in

Kevin McNamee-Tweed

The Hole, 2020

Glazed ceramic

6.50h x 5.88w in

Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Walk, 2020

Glazed ceramic

6h x 5w in

Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Spoons, 2020

Installation of 84 glazed ceramic spoons

Dimensions variable

Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Frannie (always July, always Fred), 2020

Pencil on mulberry paper

8h x 10.25w in

Framed: 15h x 17w in

Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Hoobwink in V/A, 2020

Pencil on mulberry paper

8.50h x 10w in

Framed: 15h x 17w in

Kevin McNamee-Tweed

KcKB, 2020

Pencil on mulberry paper

10.25h x 8.50w in

Framed: 17h x 15w in

Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Nite Corner, 2020

Pencil on mulberry paper

10.50h x 8.50w in

Framed: 17h x 15w in

Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Rosepss, 2019

Pencil on mulberry paper

10.25h x 6w in

Framed: 17h x 13w in

Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Trebo, 2020

Pencil on mulberry paper

8.50h x 10.50w in

Framed: 15h x 17w in

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“It is easy to see Kevin’s clay drawings in the spirit of ‘geological chalkboards’ occurring within the history and trajectory of the primitive records that have accompanied our species since the earliest cave paintings—those ‘self-portraits’ imprinted by blowing pigment over our mammal-hands.”

– John Dilg

Book 1

Kevin McNamee-Tweed
Ceramic Paintings

Essays by Andrew Berardini and John Dilg
Interview with Kevin McNamee-Tweed and Lauren Moya Ford
Los Angeles: Steve Turner, 2020
First Edition
248 pages

Price: $75.00

Purchase here

Book 2

Kevin McNamee-Tweed
Tableaux Vivant

Selected poems by Kevin McNamee-Tweed
Los Angeles: Steve Turner, 2020
First Edition
168 pages

Price: $25.00

Purchase here

“I absolutely don’t have a particular medium. A medium is just a lexicon. It can be exciting to see what one can express with a given material language.”

– Kevin McNamee-Tweed

Kevin McNamee-Tweed is an artist, curator, and writer based currently in Iowa City, Iowa. Raised in North Carolina, he received a BFA from New York University and an MA and MFA from The University of Iowa. Regularly working across mediums and disciplines, his practice includes exhibitions, books, and interdisciplinary and collaborative projects. Recent exhibitions include solo shows at Steve Turner (Los Angeles), Rod Barton (London), Devening Projects (Chicago), The Still House Group (New York), and The Menil Collection Bookstore (Houston). He has participated in group shows in Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Australia, Iceland, Greece, and the UK. Reviews of his work have appeared in Artforum, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Artnet, and Glasstire, among others. He is the recipient of numerous awards and residencies including the Mildred Pelzer Grant, the Willhelm and Jane Bodine Fellowship, The Iowa Arts Fellowship, the Montello Foundation Fellowship, the Bay Space Artist in Residence, and several awards from the Austin Critics Table in Texas. McNamee-Tweed’s extensive publishing history includes dozens of artist books as well as larger, collaboratively produced editions. Most recently, he published Tableaux Vivant, a collection of new poems accompanied by images of recent work and research material, and Steve Turner released Ceramic Paintings, a monograph. In addition to his studio practice, he has worked as a curator for over ten years, both independently and with institutions.