Robert McNally – Shyster, Chisler & Quack

April 10 – May 16, 2015

Robert McNally's solo exhibition, Shyster, Chisler and Quack will consist of 20 uniform drawings based on the Major Arcana tarot cards. The drawings are made in pencil on a super-black material, developed for use in space optics, which absorbs 99.96% light. 


The widely used Rider-Waite tarot deck was designed by Pamela Colman-Smith following the instructions of mystic and occultist Arthur Edward Waite. Her drawn improvisations were built into the 'meaning' of the tarot. Constructed meaning becoming truth is at the heart of McNally's work. From mass-media and news channels to the zone where the Dark Arts meet pseudo-science. McNally's whacked-out interpretation of the cards is just as plausible as the 'real' ones. The subjects of McNally's work; denial, ignorance, ridiculousness, satire, parable, allegory, hypocrisy, anachronism, relationship with history, ambivalence, the fine line between faith and understanding, manipulation and gullibility are all encompassed in these Tarot works. McNally's incredible technique employs similar ruses, tricking the eye, confounding the viewer. The works also serve to reinforce the artist's belief in art, as he says: 'Art has similarities to the mechanics of mysticism, the currency and value being largely subjective, the effect questionable and the interpretation often so utterly broad as to render it almost meaningless. But I am able to live by Art's honesty that it is man made and that I don't need a medium to explain it to me.'


In Shyster, Chisler and Quack, McNally becomes the medium, guiding us through his allegorical world. 



Robert McNally (Gateshead, UK, 1982). McNally has works in the collections of Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (NL) and Damien Hirst’s Murderme collection, Ekard Collection (NL), West Collection (USA), Sovereign Art Foundation (HK), Jake Chapman (UK), Dinos Chapman (UK), Olbricht Collection (DE).


Robert McNally interview - Kopenhagen