See what's on at the

Browse What's On

– Highlights

highlight
Exhibition

Grayson Perry

10 Dec - 01 May

highlight
Exhibition

Mikala Dwyer: MCA Collection

21 Dec - 21 Feb

highlight
Exhibition

Being TIWI

21 Dec - 21 Feb

Find out more about the

About the MCA

– News from inside the MCA

Sharing The Artist’s Voice

Celebrating the launch of a new video portal, Alex White reflects upon the MCA’s history of producing and sharing interviews with artists and the importance of these activities for the organisation. more

My Pretty Little Sydney: A guide inspired by Grayson Perry

Much like Grayson’s work, Sydney is full of interesting enclaves if you are willing to take a closer look. We teamed up with The Thousands to create a Grayson Perry-inspired guide to Sydney! more

Building Confidence

Artist Educator Sue Salier reflects upon the certainty of youth in relation to our secondary workshop program Unpacking Unseen Images. more

View the Collection

Browse Collection

– Spotlights from the collection online

highlight
Volume One: MCA Collection

Works from the MCA Collection on display

highlight
Remain in Light: Photography from the MCA Collections

On tour until October 2015

highlight
ARTIST INTERVIEW

Watch our latest artist interview with Khaled Sabsabi

Laith McGregor

The European 2009

Museum of Contemporary Art, purchased with funds provided by the Coe and Mordant families, 2010

pencil and ball-point on paper

H 1515 W 995 D 60cm

About the Artwork

Laith McGregor is known for his intricate drawings executed in biro (‘they’re BIC by the way’) and pencil. These figurative works, often self-portraits and portraits of members of his family, interweave history and fiction, popular culture and mythology.

One of the works by McGregor that featured in the MCA exhibition I Walk the Line: New Australian Drawing was a video loop showing the artist drawing a beard in biro onto his face.

The European was produced during the artist’s three-month residency at the Centre Intermondes at Le Rochelle in France in 2009. The image takes its inspiration from the rich history of the port, with its seafaring legends and medieval traffic during the Crusades. The Templar Knights passed through here regularly and, in the eighteenth century, La Rochelle also became a port-of-call for the international slave trade.

The curious combination of the chain mail and the wooden barque (sailing vessel) adorning the figure, along with his pale eyes and distant gaze, suggest something of an archetype. The artist posits the figure as a ‘ghost-like chevalier unknowingly holding a slave ship upon his crown … in a continuous journey across time’ (1).

1. Artist’s email to Anna Davis, MCA Curator, October 2010

References

Quotation: Laith McGregor, from a statement written by the artist on occasion of the acquisition of his work by the Museum of Contemporary Art, 2010

Historical figures and fictitious characters morph and weave, reaffirming themselves and their presence like phantoms.

Laith McGregor

Laith McGregor

– About the artist

b.1977

In 2007 Laith McGregor obtained a Bachelor of Fine Art (Hons) at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne. In 2008 he won the Robert Jacks Drawing Prize at the Bendigo Regional Art Gallery. In 2009 he was awarded an Emerging Artist New Work Grant by Australia Council for the Arts and was the Queensland recipient of the 2009 QANTAS Foundation Encouragement of Australian Contemporary Art Award. McGregor is currently undertaking a two year studio residency in Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne. His work is represented in public and private collections around Australia.

Learn more

– View also

All
Works

Related Exhibitions

In the Shop