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Margaret McCann
Atlantic City, NJ

Artwork Details
Mountain Bar
36" x "48

Margaret McCann landed in Italy on a Fulbright grant to study depictions of saints, and to apply their strange fusion of the neurotic and the sublime to portraiture. She grew up in a family of 10 children in the 1960’s; “between these numbers Murphy’s Law was consistently operational” says McCann. This upbringing led to her interest in multiple viewpoints, complexity, absurdity, and the contradictions of Cubism and Italian Metaphysical Painting.


In Italy McCann began painting still lifes as visionary cities, then placed giants in them, like a figure sleeping in the Colosseo, or the volcano Vesuvio. When she couldn’t afford a model she used a Venus torso, placing it in La Grande Arche in Paris. Increasingly, her imagery has led back to American popular culture, humor, bright color, and a ‘panoply’ sensibility. McCann has recently returned to a motif she explored in graduate school - Stuff piled on her head—the Guggenheim Museum, a Marge Simpson beehive, Christo creations—utilizing self-portraiture as surrealist architecture.


McCann explores her relationship with her new home town, Atlantic City in her statement for the show “Greetings from Atlantic City” at Stockton College through April 1st, “Atlantic City reminds me of the historical center of Rome, where I lived for 8 years—but inversely, as a kind of anti-Rome. Both have intense visual drama and a small scale that creates a sculptural effect. Both possess self-conscious architecture; Roman ruins are tourist attractions, and Atlantic City’s new-fangled buildings aim to entertain…Rome's beauty is romantic and unambiguous, but Atlantic City’s is ironic and surprising, cheerful and pathetic…The Boardwalk negotiates the odd confrontation between its unrestrained, neon-lit structures and the inscrutable stare of the ocean.”


Margaret McCann has had solo shows at Antonia Jannone Disegni di Architettura in Milan, The Painting Center in New York, in Chicago, Boston, Rome, and exhibits with the Zeuxis still life group. Her work has been reviewed in La Repubblica, Corriere della Sera, and the NY Observer. She studied at Yale, The New York Studio School, and Washington U. in St. Louis, and was awarded Fulbright, Ingram-Merrill, and Blanche E. Colman grants, and residencies at the Ragdale and Millay colonies and the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris. She taught art in Rome for 8 years, and was an asst. prof. at Boston U. for 10 years, for 2 years at UNH and Syracuse U.,  and now teaches at the Richard Stockton College of NJ. She has also published poetry and has written art reviews for Art New England, The Portsmouth Herald, and a humor column “Woman on the Street” for