Statement + Bio
Quilts, weeds, yellowing wallpaper, firewood, a taxidermy bear and Colonial-Revival couch—my works reach across generational divides through a language of form and material dialect. Probing the images and cultural artifacts from my geographical, familial and domestic background reveals gaps in which I can insert and reconstruct my own complicated narrative as a nerdy Appalachian queer guy. In this space, stories of cruising men and family past-times are pieced together as a multi-layered patchwork of text, images, patterned cloth, personal clothing, furniture, wallpaper, drawings and found domestic textiles. These saturated works draw attention to the often murky intersection of personal desires and family institutions, as well as openly question our larger social constructions of deviancy, shame, adolescent imprinting and heteronormativity.
Aaron McIntosh (b. 1984, Kingsport, TN) is a cross-disciplinary artist whose work mines the intersections of material culture, family tradition, sexual desire and identity politics in a range of works including quilts, sculpture, collage, drawing and writing. As a fourth-generation quilt maker whose grandparents were noted quilters in their Appalachian communities, this tradition of working with scraps is a primary platform from which he explores the patch worked nature of identity. Since 2015, McIntosh has managed Invasive Queer Kudzu, a community storytelling and archive project across the LGBTQ South.
His work has been exhibited at the Toldedo Museum of Art, Hangaram Art Museum in Seoul, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Yale University's Green Art Gallery, the International Quilt Study Center, the Los Angeles Craft & Folk Art Museum and the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay & Lesbian Art in New York City. His current research creation project, Hot House/Maison Chaude, is supported by a 2020-2022 SSHRC Insight Development grant. Additionally, McIntosh is a recipient of the 2020 United States Artist Fellowship in Craft, a 2018 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship, a 2017 Virginia Culture Works Grant, and two Center for Craft Windgate Fellowships in 2006 and 2015. He has held residencies at the Banff Centre, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. His critical writing has been published in the Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic, the Surface Design Journal, and the Journal of Modern Craft.
As an educator, McIntosh is committed to transforming and diversifying the next generation of fibre/textile artists. Since 2010, he has taught in the Fibre programs of James Madison University, the Maryland Institute College of Art, Virginia Commonwealth University, and currently is an Associate Professor in the Fibres & Material Practices program at Concordia University in Montreal.