See what's on at the

Browse What's On

– Highlights

highlight
Workshop

Art Safari

Today, 10.30am, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning

highlight
Special Event

ARTBAR driven by Audi

Today, 7.00pm, MCA

highlight
Exhibition

Grayson Perry

10 Dec - 01 May

Create and Learn at the

All Learning Programs

– Learning Events

highlight
Workshop

Art Safari

Today, 10.30am, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning

highlight
Conference

Creativity in the Primary Classroom 2016

20 May, 9.00am, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning

highlight
Digital Excursion

Digital Excursion

24 May, 10.00am, Remote Connection via Video Conferencing

Find out more about the

About the MCA

– News from inside the MCA

Everything I Touch Turns To...

Let’s all take a moment to get to know the artist who will wave over the Museum with an ethereal wand and dip the building in gold for MCA ARTBAR. more

MCA Kids Committee & Artist Educators In Conversation

MCA Kids Committee members Sasha, Alesandro, Riley, Siobhan, Kayla and Max interviewed some of the artists behind Junior Art School to learn more their practice. more

On Contemporary Film

Film curator James Vaughan interviews MIFF Artistic Director, Michelle Carey, about April’s, CONTEMPORARY FILM PROGRAM. 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