Margaret Kilgallen: that’s where the beauty is.

January 31, 2020May 17, 2020
American artist Margaret Kilgallen (1967–2001) died at the young age of thirty-three, just as her work was gaining recognition and prominence. that’s where the beauty is., brings to light the astonishing visual complexity of Kilgallen’s short career, highlighting the major themes that unify her multilayered practice. Kilgallen’s work brings front and center an aesthetic that reminds us we need not look only within the commercial mainstream or readily accessible narratives for inspiration and empowerment. Rather she celebrates the handmade, making heroes and heroines of those who live and work in the margins, and challenging traditional gender roles and hierarchies. Her work advocates for a quality of time, celebrating and emphasizing the impact that can come from hard work and individual expression. 
 
Organized by moCa’s Chief Curator Courtenay Finn for the Aspen Art Museum, that’s where the beauty is. is Kilgallen’s first posthumous museum exhibition, and the largest presentation of her work to date since her 2005 show, In the Sweet Bye & Bye, at REDCAT, Los Angeles. Working closely with Kilgallen’s estate, the exhibition re-creates versions of pivotal installations and presentations, including her first solo show at The Drawing Center (1997), her first museum exhibition, Hammer Projects: Margaret Kilgallen (2001), and her final installation, Main Drag, created for the exhibition East Meets West at the ICA in Philadelphia (2001). The show pairs key works of Kilgallen’s—now in the collections of the Hammer Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art—with never before-seen works from the artist’s estate.