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Everything Seems Empty without You, 2009

Myfanwy MacLeod
Canadian, 1961
painted metal oil drums, steel rack, painted steel pipes, brushed aluminum, wooden boxes, and wooden barrel
299.7 x 843.3 x 238.8 cm installed
Purchased 2010
National Gallery of Canada (no. 43038)

A wry sense of humour pervades MacLeod's work that engages modern art's often austere history while drawing on vernacular forms and nods to pop culture. This sculpture references the work of minimalist sculptor Donald Judd, in particular his functionalist yet pristine wooden box floor sculptures, which MacLeod has refashioned into a moonshine still based on a postcard image. "The work makes use of the geometric forms and repeated units of Minimalism," says the artist, "but not all in the distanced, engineered way characteristic of that tendency. Instead it represents the distillation and rectification of the impersonal materiality of Minimalist work with references to kitsch, folk art and modern culture."




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