Paul McCarthy, American (1945 - )

Paul McCarthy is a seminal West Coast artist. Born in 1945 in Salt Lake City, Utah, McCarthy is known for his raw, visceral work which has taken form in a wide variety of media (photography, painting, performance, sculpture, video, installation, drawing, and painting) ranging in scale from monumental to intimate. Playing on illusions and cultural myths, McCarthy's work often embodies obsessive activities and challenges expected physical orientation. He has had recent solo exhibitions at Tate Modern, London (2003); Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York (2002); Galerie Hauser & Wirth, Zurich (2001); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2000); and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2000). He currently lives and works in Altadena, CA.

McCarthy comes out of a generation of artists who responded to Minimalism and Conceptual art of the 1960s by developing an approach that sought to reinstate the connection between artistic activity and social reality. He has gained a reputation as a sharp analyst of US society at its most media-crazed and consumption-oriented.

His work encompasses a broad scope of mediums, from the performances and videos he began staging in the 1970s, to the installations, sculptures and drawings he continues to produce.

McCarthy's work was brought to international attention in the exhibition, 'Helter Skelter' at MoCA, Los Angeles in 1992. Solo exhibitions of McCarthy's work include, "Dimensions of the Mind" at Sammlung Hauser & Wirth, St Gallen, Switzerland in 1999; "Paul McCarthy" at MoCA, Los Angles, The New Museum, NY, Villa Arson, Nice, and the Tate Liverpool in 2000; "Paul McCarthy" at the Tate Modern, London in 2003; and "Brain Box Dream Box" at the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven and the Contemporary Art Center in Malaga, Spain in 2004.

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