France-Lise McGurn’s Self Control: surrealism and the urban experience


In the flow …

Fluidity is the watchword in France-Lise McGurn’s elegant linear paintings. Her figures’ outlines cross and reverberate in dreamy and orgiastic ways. They share explosions of washy colour. Created with loose-looking, snaking brush-strokes, figures and body parts drift across canvas, wall or floor.

Head over heels …

This crouching woman’s single hot-red, high-heeled shoe and the Egyptian eye play on classic surrealist symbols. The bunny ears she makes with her hand are echoed by pin-up-style, kicking legs on the wall behind the painting.

Your history …

Cocteau’s homoerotic drawings, steeped in classical fantasy and libidinous surrealism, are an obvious touchstone for McGurn. The Glaswegian’s huge image archive includes everything from bygone fashion illustration to club flyers.

Up close …

McGurn’s take on sexuality is up-to-the-minute, but the odd intimacy of urban experience that she evokes is age-old. Her abstracted figures suggest both the connection and distance of city life.

Included in Percussia, Simon Lee, W1, to 22 February; McGurn’s show In Emotia is at Tramway, Glasgow, to 29 March



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