Malcolm McClay

Malcolm McClay

Pliner Professor

225-578-5181 | 700 Barnes Ogden Art & Design Complex

Art/Sculpture BA University of Ulster
MA New Mexico State University
MFA Ohio State University

Born in Derry, Northern Ireland, and raised in Donegal, Ireland, Malcolm McClay studied at the University of Ulster in Belfast, where he received a BA with honors in three-dimensional design. He earned an MA in sculpture from New Mexico State University and an MFA in sculpture and performance from Ohio State University. There he co-founded the performance company Crisus. For the next 10 years at Crisus, he wrote, produced, and toured large-scale multimedia performances throughout the US and abroad. In 1999, McClay moved away from performance to concentrate on interactive installation and kinetic sculpture. He moved from San Francisco to Louisiana in 2002 and joined the faculty of the LSU School of Art in the fall of 2003. McClay typically spends 10 months of the year in the US and two months in Ireland, and he regularly exhibits and curates throughout the US and Europe. In 2013, McClay returned to performance with Ekstasis, a 36-hour performance at Good Children Gallery in New Orleans, where he is a founding member.

Artist’s Statement

Three recurrent themes define my work: the effect of political forces on people’s lives, the poetry of the mechanical, and an interest in viewer-activated work. Growing up close to Northern Ireland border and spending four years in Belfast during “the Troubles,” I developed an interest in how political forces affect people’s lives. The second recurrent theme is driven by my innate curiosity and attraction to the visual poetry of mechanical objects; this is reflected in the robotics and interactive elements in my work. The third component is an intense interest in my audience. From an early involvement in theater, my work evolved to include sound, light, movement, text, physical objects, and even my own body. I was less interested in blurring the lines between sculpture and theater and driven more by a desire to find the most direct and powerful means of communicating to my audience on a visceral level.


ART 1012 Three-Dimensional Design
ART 1762 Beginning Sculpture
ART 2761 Intermediate Sculpture
ART 4761 Advanced Sculpture
ART 4762 Senior Project in Sculpture
ART 7042 Graduate Teaching Seminar
ART 7700 Graduate Sculpture Seminar
ART 8000 Graduate Thesis

LSU Art In Ireland Courses

ART 4741 Special Topics in Sculpture/Site Intervention
ART 4741 Special Topics in Sculpture/Independent Study
ART 4020 Special Topics in Sculpture/Independent Study