Paul McCarthy

Born in 1945 - United States


A major actor in the contemporary scene, Paul McCarthy is an American artist, born in 1945. He studied art at the Utah University before joining the San Francisco Art Institute in 1969, a city which attracted him in his quest for experimental art.

Along the way, he came across great artists who inspired him, especially Robert Rauschenberg, Donald Judd and Bruce Nauman. He drew inspiration from them for Pop Art and experimental cinema, a big contrast which merges in McCarthy's work.

A provocative artist with a reputation that precedes him, Paul McCarthy became famous through his sculptures and performances. His first works focus on the universe of car races and he assembled various elements like tanks and motors. But quickly he turned towards more subversive and aggressive work. His creations have become more sexual and address a delicate topic of body fluids.

Its through installations in public areas, his giant inflatable sculptures go through a quick ascent artistically and in the media. Directly inspired by the pure forms of Brancusi, like « Princesse X», his glib sculptures makes the spectators wonder. These might be ketchup bottles, feces, garden gnomes, or even an ambivalent Christmas tree, Paul McCarthy stands out due to his art and is talked about.

One finds decadent icons on unprecedented materials like skateboards but placed horizontally.

Except for the public areas, Paul McCarthy has exhibited at the Tate Modern in London, Monnaie de Paris and contemporary art fairs like FIAC.

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2013 Park Avenue Armory, WS, New York
2009 De Uithof, Paul McCarthy – Air Pressure, City of Utrecht
2009 Hauser & Wirth, White Snow, New York
2009 Zach?ta National Gallery of Art, Paul McCarthy & Benjamin Weissman – Quilting Sessions, Warsaw
2008 Whitney Museum of American Art, Central Symmetrical Rotation Movement – Three Installations, Two Films, New York
2007 S.M.A.K. Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Paul McCarthy – Head Shop / Shop Head, Ghent
2007 Middelheim Sculpture Museum, Paul McCarthy – Air Born / Air Borne / Air Pressure, Antwerp
2006 Moderna Museet, Paul McCarthy – Head Shop / Shop Head, Stockholm
2005 Haus der Kunst, Paul McCarthy – LaLa land parodie paradies, Munich
2004 Van Abbemuseum, Paul McCarthy. Brain Box – Dream Box, Eindhoven
2003 Hauser & Wirth, Paul McCarthy. Piccadilly Circus, London
2003 Tate Modern, Paul McCarthy at Tate Modern, London
2001 New Museum, Paul McCarthy, New York

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