Posted on Monday, December 15, 2008 by Brenda Tucker
The CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts will present the exhibition Paul McCarthy's Low Life Slow Life: Part 2 from January 27 through May 30, 2009, in the lower-level Logan Galleries on the San Francisco campus of California College of the Arts. The exhibition is free and open to the public, with an opening reception on Tuesday, January 27, from 6–8 p.m.
Low Life Slow Life is an autobiographical exhibition that presents a diverse range of artists and artworks related to Paul McCarthy's memories of his career. The second part of this two-part show centers on his years in Los Angeles from 1970 to the present and emphasizes the emergence of alternative performance practices, Conceptual art, installation art, and video art.
McCarthy's curatorial selections are eclectic and unconventional, deriving more from his personal recollections than from any historical, objective measure of artistic influence. Low Life Slow Life: Part 2 features works by Walt Disney, Howard Fried, Rachel Khedoori, Dennis Oppenheim, and Lil Picard. It also includes an extensive film program, tentatively scheduled to include pieces by Tony Conrad, Guy Debord, Kurt Kren, Les Levine, Peter Kubelka, Otto Muehl, Jack Smith, and Michael Snow.
Although McCarthy did not achieve international recognition until the 1990s, he has been an influential figure on California's art scene for more than 30 years. His early performance work of the 1970s explored the body and sexuality. The intensity of these performances, which often included graphic depictions of taboo subjects, eventually led him into further explorations and exploitations of video and film, special effects, and large-scale installation as he continually strove to heighten the effect of his work. Today McCarthy is considered one of the most influential living American artists.
The exhibition catalog is conceived as an extension of the show. It will include an introduction by Wattis Institute Director Jens Hoffmann, an interview with McCarthy, a biographical timeline, an extensive array of images from McCarthy's archive, and installation images from the exhibition.
About Paul McCarthy
Paul McCarthy was born in Salt Lake City in 1945 and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. He studied as an undergraduate at the University of Utah and the San Francisco Art Institute, and he holds an MFA from the University of Southern California. His artwork has been featured in museums around the world; he has had recent solo exhibitions at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Tate Modern in London, and the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, and he has been included in recent group exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.
About the CCA Wattis Institute
The CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts was established in 1998 in San Francisco at California College of the Arts. It serves as a forum for the presentation and discussion of international contemporary art and curatorial practice. Through groundbreaking exhibitions, the Capp Street Project residency program, lectures, symposia, and publications, the Wattis Institute has become one of the leading art institutions in the United States and an active site for contemporary culture in the Bay Area. For more information about the Wattis Institute, visit www.wattis org.
About California College of the Arts
Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (CCA) is noted for the interdisciplinarity and breadth of its programs. It offers studies in 20 undergraduate and seven graduate majors in the areas of fine arts, architecture, design, and writing. The college offers bachelor of architecture, bachelor of arts, bachelor of fine arts, master of architecture, master of arts, master of fine arts, and master of business administration degrees. With campuses in San Francisco and Oakland, CCA currently enrolls 1,740 full-time students. Noted alumni include the painters Nathan Oliveira and Raymond Saunders; the ceramicists Robert Arneson, Viola Frey, and Peter Voulkos; the filmmaker Wayne Wang; the conceptual artists David Ireland and Dennis Oppenheim; and the designers Lucille Tenazas and Michael Vanderbyl. For more information about CCA, visit www.cca.edu.