Kenyon College

One Divides into Two


Dominic McGill

One Divides into Two. 2010.

Graphite on paper.

22 x 30 inches.

Courtesy of the Artist and Derek Eller Gallery.


Here McGill manages to be both playful and serious. At the center of the canvas, he fits a skull with a row of teeth twice as wide as its jaw. He draws a brain exploding with black ink like a berry expelling its juices. His curlicues of text and smattering of stars remind us of obsessive doodles, yet McGill’s prove to be highly sophisticated upon closer examination. In his reverie, McGill teases out the notions of truth and ideology. He draws his title from Lenin’s definition of a dialect—when whole divides into a contradicting parts—and he renders that concept as two fists on the verge of collision. McGill’s looping fragments of text frequently run into conflict with each other.  Even when the texts appears symmetrically, it can be hard to find a sentence, a complete thought, an agreement. Can you reconcile disagreeing dialects and come away with a truth? In today’s political cycle, does one voice divide into two, or do two voices fuse into one?



Caleb Bissinger ’13

Gund Gallery Associate