HomePage Artists

b. 1945, USA

Paul McCarthy Biography

During his 30-plus year career, Paul McCarthy (b.1954) has continually developed an utterly original and challenging oeuvre to become one of the most influential contemporary artists today. By working across and integrating various media-- video, installations, performance, sculpture and photography, he brutally undermines the saccharine myths and figures of contemporary culture by re-focusing them through his own extremist lens. This video compilation, The Black and White Tapes 1970-1975 gives DAFT its historical foundation. These videos showcase McCarthy’s earliest performance works and reveal the nascent development of the themes that mark the artist’s later works. In these videos McCarthy uses his own body as a tool to examine the process of making art: as a human paintbrush he drags himself across the floor while holding an open can of white paint; he violently whips the walls and pillars of his studio with a large paint-soaked sheet; often the artist uses his naked body, body parts, and body fluids in conceptual exercises. These performative acts can be overtly confrontational, as when he repeatedly spits directly onto the camera lens. Other pieces involve more subtle contradictions and inversions of objects, motion, light and shadow. Mccarthy’s work is characterized by transgressive performance art, psychosexual events that are intended to fly in the face of social convention, testing the emotional limits of both artist and viewer. McCarthy’s challenging pieces have captivated audiences worldwide and he is one of the most celebrated and recognized living artists. He has exhibited at prominent museums including: The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Tate Modern, London, The Guggenheim Museum, New York and Bilbao, The Centre George Pompidou, Paris, The Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, The New Museum, New York, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Paul McCarthy Featured Artworks

View All (38)
A&E, AAEVAE VAVA, Santa Anita session by Paul McCarthy contemporary artwork
Paul McCarthyA&E, AAEVAE VAVA, Santa Anita session, 2020Pencil, charcoal and pastel on paper
295.9 x 182.9 cm
Hauser & Wirth Contact Gallery
A&E, EVADOOLF EVA, Santa Anita session by Paul McCarthy contemporary artwork
Paul McCarthyA&E, EVADOOLF EVA, Santa Anita session, 2020Charcoal, pastel, mixed media, and collage on paper
264.8 x 199.4 cm
Hauser & Wirth Contact Gallery
A&E Cat Tower, Santa Anita by Paul McCarthy contemporary artwork
Paul McCarthyA&E Cat Tower, Santa Anita, 2019Acrylic paint, collaged paper, and cat tree on canvas panel
304.8 x 213.4 x 152.4 cm
Hauser & Wirth Contact Gallery
SC Saloon Triptych by Paul McCarthy contemporary artwork
Paul McCarthySC Saloon Triptych, 2013Group of 3 drawings; pencil, marker and collage on paper
Xavier Hufkens Contact Gallery
CSSC, Mary, Adam, and Eve by Paul McCarthy contemporary artwork
Paul McCarthyCSSC, Mary, Adam, and Eve, 2019Lightjet print
101.6 x 152.4 cm
Xavier Hufkens Contact Gallery
WS, White Snow Flower Girl #6 by Paul McCarthy contemporary artwork
Paul McCarthyWS, White Snow Flower Girl #6, 2016Black walnut
91.4 x 61 x 45.7 cm
Hauser & Wirth Contact Gallery
WS, White Snow Flower Girl #2 by Paul McCarthy contemporary artwork
Paul McCarthyWS, White Snow Flower Girl #2, 2016Black walnut
91.4 x 61 x 45.7 cm
Hauser & Wirth Contact Gallery

Paul McCarthy Recent Exhibitions

View All (17)
Contemporary art exhibition, Paul McCarthy, A&E Sessions – Drawing and Painting at Hauser & Wirth, 548 West 22nd Street, New York
Closed
23 February–10 April 2021 Paul McCarthy A&E Sessions – Drawing and Painting Hauser & Wirth548 West 22nd Street, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, SALON D’HIVER at Hauser & Wirth, Zürich, Zurich
Closed
27 November–18 December 2020 Group Exhibition SALON D’HIVER Hauser & WirthZürich
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, To Form a More Perfect Union at Hauser & Wirth, 69th Street, New York
Closed
12 November–31 December 2020 Group Exhibition To Form a More Perfect Union Hauser & Wirth69th Street, New York

Paul McCarthy Represented By

Hauser & Wirth contemporary art gallery in Hong Kong Hauser & Wirth New York, Hong Kong, Zurich, London, Los Angeles, Somerset, Gstaad, St. Moritz
Xavier Hufkens contemporary art gallery in St-Georges, Brussels, Belgium Xavier Hufkens Brussels

Paul McCarthy In Ocula Magazine

What Sold for Over $1 Million at Art Basel Online? Ocula News What Sold for Over $1 Million at Art Basel Online? London, 23 June 2020

Prices didn't reach the heights of the physical fair in 2019, but over a dozen works exceeded the million dollar mark.

Fade out copy.
Read More
Hauser & Wirth’s First VR Exhibition Introduces Menorca Space Ocula Insight Hauser & Wirth’s First VR Exhibition Introduces Menorca Space By Sam Gaskin, Menorca

Hauser & Wirth's first Virtual Reality exhibition is a simulacrum of the gallery's forthcoming space in Menorca.

Fade out copy.
Read More

Paul McCarthy In Related Press

View All (6)
Paul McCarthy puts Snow White (and himself) under the knife in Seoul Related Press Paul McCarthy puts Snow White (and himself) under the knife in Seoul 2 October 2017, Wallpaper*

Snow White was the original, archetypal Disney princess: she was the 'fairest of them all', she was cheerful and kind, and most importantly, she was as innocent as a lamb. Just as her allegorical name would suggest. Since Disney's 1937 film adaptation of the Brothers Grimm fairytale, she's remained one of the company's most popular characters....

Fade out copy.
Read More
Shard lines: sculptor Sarah Sze makes a sharp turn to glass at Berengo Studio in Murano Related Press Shard lines: sculptor Sarah Sze makes a sharp turn to glass at Berengo Studio in Murano 11 May 2017, Wallpaper*

Sze has made her name with complex, large-scale installations using mundane found objects that often seem in a state of disintegration or coalescence, driven by forces largely unknown. Her works tackle time, memory, loss, the taxonomic urge and the distance between science and experience. 'A piece is finished when it is right at the edge of...

Fade out copy.
Read More
Absent Snow White: Paul McCarthy at Hauser & Wirth, New York Related Press Absent Snow White: Paul McCarthy at Hauser & Wirth, New York 3 December 2016, ARTNews

You put the kids to bed, and you look around the room. What you see is either a battlefield or a junkyard. Toy sets are broken up, G.I Joe is consorting with Barbie, other action figures are dead, and you wince as you stomp on another Lego piece. Not quite as chaotic, but much more fun is Paul McCarthy’s show, which fills up Hauser &...

Fade out copy.
Read More
Flying suitcases, mimes, and a collector's house: A quick spin through the Unlimited Section at Basel Related Press Flying suitcases, mimes, and a collector's house: A quick spin through the Unlimited Section at Basel 14 June 2016, ARTNews

The Unlimited sector of Art Basel is devoted to large-scale installation and works that “transcend the classical art show stand.” The name is a hyperbole—as it does contain walls at some points—but it can really appear endless when you first walk in. And the works inside are very, very big. That is the point of the whole...

Fade out copy.
Read More

Sign up to be notified when new artworks and exhibitions by Paul McCarthy are added to Ocula.

WeChat

Scan the QR Code via WeChat to follow Ocula's official account.

Scan to follow Ocula on WeChat.
;