Artist: Paul McCarthy
Venue: The Renaissance Society, Chicago
Exhibition Title: Drawings
Date: November 8 – January 24, 2015
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of The Renaissance Society, Chicago
The Renaissance Society presents over 75 rarely and never-before seen works on paper from Paul McCarthy’s hundreds of White Snow drawings, produced between 2008 and 2015. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition in Chicago and is part of the Renaissance Society’s Centennial program celebrating its 100th anniversary.
Known widely for his prolific output of video, sculpture, performance, and installation, Paul McCarthy also works extensively in two dimensions. The ongoing series White Snow reveals the artist’s deft draftsmanship and layered, gestural approach to drawing. Co-curated by Solveig Øvstebø and Susanne Ghez, the current and former Executive Directors of the Renaissance Society, respectively, this presentation offers an opportunity to consider a significant area of this major artist’s practice.
Sex and mythology, bodies and violence, death and humor—these works are at once familiar and repulsive. With his characteristic irreverent wit, McCarthy melds the iconic 1937 Walt Disney depiction of Snow White with the darker forces of the fairy tale’s earlier incarnations. The selection here features figures in various stages of erotic play, architectural renderings, and textual annotation, ranging in size from small sketches to large collages. Also included are preparatory works for McCarthy’s major installation, WS, at the Park Avenue Armory, New York in 2013.
McCarthy’s drawings represent the threshold between fantasy and reality, the point at which the artist’s imagination directly crosses over into the physical realm before being further developed into three-dimensional and time-based productions. Together, they represent a body of work that reflects drawing as a direct mode of expression and a space of possibility.