Exhibition | Grainger McKoy: Recovery Stroke

Oct 8, 2014 — Mar 29, 2015

Grainger McKoy (born 1947) moved with his family at a young age to Sumter, South Carolina. McKoy attended Clemson University, earning a degree in zoology, while also studying architecture. After graduating, McKoy apprenticed for 18 months with the renowned bird carver Gilbert Maggioni in Beaufort, South Carolina. McKoy initially produced realistic carvings, but slowly began transforming these intricately carved birds into gravity-defying sculptures that played with form and space, while continuing to accurately render each species in detail. His work has been shown at the High Museum of Art, Brandywine River Museum, Brookgreen Gardens, and many other galleries.

For a bird in flight, the recovery stroke is the weakest wing position as it produces neither lift nor forward momentum, but it must occur in order for the power stroke to propel the bird forward. For Grainger McKoy the recovery stroke has always been the most graceful. In 1999 McKoy first sculpted Recovery Stroke, using the wing of a pintail duck. In 2004 the Hollings Cancer Center in Charleston commissioned the artist to create a work that would resonate with their mission of treatment and recovery, and he selected this vulnerable moment of a bird in flight. Over the course of a decade, McKoy has rendered this motif in a variety of sizes and materials, including basswood, bronze, stainless steel, and silver.