York gallery and magazine team up in the name of art

21 Mar 2013 @ 10.45 pm
| Entertainment

“You can only sell sizzle for so long”. According To McGee director Greg McGee. Photograph: YouTube
York-based art and literature magazine Dream Catcher has appointed a city gallery owner as its art advisor.

Greg McGee founded According to McGee with his wife Ails in 2010 in the Tower Street gallery previously known as ArtSpace. He is ready to bring fresh new ideas to the magazine which will provide artists with an international platform for their work.

He has taken up his role in time to work on the next issue of Dream Catcher, released in late summer.

“We’re a contemporary white cube gallery based in the centre of York, and we showcase artists who are not only the new collectables, but who have watertight professionalism,” says Greg.

Ails added: “There’s a world of difference between someone enjoying saying ‘I’m an artist’ because it gives them a thrill and someone having to say ‘I’m an artist’ because to them they can’t exist without sketching, drawing, painting and finishing a piece.

“We’ll still champion new blood, but it’ll be a case of working with artists who see their practice as their raison d’être, not their birthright. York is increasingly looking forward to artists who can step up to the plate, and we think that’s a good thing.”

“There’s a lack of patience with artists who prioritise playful ideas over draughtsmanship,” says Greg, “I think to be forced to respond with ‘wow, I could never do that’ calls upon a generosity of spirit that people appreciate and are grateful for. It’s all part of being awestruck, and I think people have missed that for a long time. You can only sell sizzle for so long.”

According to McGee aims to be a world class gallery. “The title According to McGee gives us no room to hide or shirk our right and our duty – to bring top class art that both thrills us and enriches York as place to live and visit.”

Already the gallery has sold Glasgow-based ceramicists to collectors in Beijing. “Our global reach is just beginning to take place. Linda Hein, our international manager, and northern charity New Visuality have recently secured exhibition space for According to McGee in Lille, Rotterdam, Paris and Cologne, so painters like Francine Cross, Sam Jefferies, Matt Fletcher, and filmmakers like Nick Walters can join us in looking ever outwards.”

Heritage is great for museums, and I love museums, but the contemporary market needs new blood

Ails agrees. “As a gallery we will never lose the punk ethos. We love mixing it up, resampling, and kicking complacency whenever we see it. But being punk and being professional are not mutually exclusive. It does new talent and young artists a disservice to expect them to be happy with second rate provincialism.

“Heritage is great for museums, and I love museums, but the contemporary market needs new blood. York will only keep its gorgeous glow going if it continues to be outward looking.”

“This is why I’m so pleased to collaborate with Dream Catcher Magazine,” said Greg. “Having them on display in the gallery is one thing, but being involved is a thrill.”

Dream Catcher is both an international journal and a community-based literature organisation. The magazine includes poetry, prose, artwork and reviews. Contributors span the globe. It is published by Stairwell Books, a York-based small press which publishes the works of exciting poets and writers.

Recent titles include Along the Iron Veins, Pressed by Unseen Feet: an anthology of Ghostly writing, A Day at the Races by NE David, Poison Pen by PJ Quinn and York in Poetry Artwork and Photographs published in conjunction with the city council for the York 800 celebrations.