San Francisco

Margaret Kilgallen

Gallery 16

At once sweet and dry, nostalgic and ironic, Margaret Kilgallen’s installations of images and text are like some kind of magic elixir swigged from a bottle passed around a hobo’s campfire. Painted directly on the gallery walls or on recycled bits of this and that—wood, cardboard, rusty metal type trays—her pieces often have an appealingly weathered quality. This aura of age is reinforced by her use of elaborately decorative typefaces popular a century ago. Evoking the accidental poetry of roadside signs, words—such as “salt,” “bail,” or “liquors”—appear either alone or in salon-style clusters of paintings.

Over and over, in images rendered in an idiosyncratic yet attractive palette of muted golds and grays, minty greens and rusty ochres, Kilgallen alludes to the irregular, highly improvisatory), life of drifters and grifters, carne barkers and itinerant musicians (possibly as a metaphor

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.