Siobhan McBride: Strong Winds May Exist


Eight Modern is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition, Siobhan McBride: Strong Winds May Exist.

Like a deep breath before a cataclysmic moment, or the sight of a storm on the horizon, McBride’s gouache paintings are pregnant with wonder and introspection. Though her compositions are unpopulated by figures, the potential of their presence is felt. The artist’s choice of show title, Strong Winds May Exist,reflects this sense of possibility.

“I saw it (a road sign saying, “Strong Winds May Exist”) while driving, and it struck me as very strange. Uncertain, somewhat magical, not the natural language of road signs, and humorous. It suggested to me uncertain realities and fickle perceptions, and seemed to imply larger existential questions,” McBride says. “Also, I feel like my paintings are so still and ultimately so inhabitable that pairing the text with the work seemed both funny in a literal way and futile. “Strong winds” or anything else for that matter might indeedexist…something so mercurial and impermanent necessitates a very real, if hesitant, declarative statement, and strikes me as both hopeful and hopeless, and wonderful either way.”

McBride has spent the past year at the Roswell Artist in Residence Program. The open skies and stark terrain have been a useful contrast to her paintings of complex, often closed-in spaces. And the opportunity to indulge her proclivity for distraction has allowed the artist to develop a new cohesiveness in her work.

“I have come to think of my paintings as views of a place where magic reveals itself differently than it does in this world,” says McBride. “The scenes are tense with anticipation or blushing in the aftermath of an unseen event. Paintings combine disparate yet familiar fragments into spaces that are still, anxious, and temperamental.”

Paintings such as Atlas, of a warped, dog-eared atlas laying on the dashboard of a traveling car, suggest countless destinations past and future, both in our own lives and also in those of the unseen travelers.

McBride explains, “I hope the work is strange and suspenseful like the excitement of exploring a new place, and the thrill of knowing you are drifting back into a frightening dream.”

McBride was born in Seoul, Korea and was adopted by an American family as an infant. She grew up in Queens, New York; and received her B.A. in English and Fine Arts as well as her M.F.A. in Painting from the University of Pennsylvania in 2005. Over the past several years, McBride has completed four different residences, been included in numerous group shows and had a solo exhibition at the Roswell Museum and Art Center.

Eight Modern is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For further information and image requests, contact Lauren Tresp at (505) 995-0231 or