Black walnut wood sculptures depicting the artist's versions of characters from Snow White
Beginning on 10 May, Hauser & Wirth 18th Street will open Paul McCarthy: Sculptures (on view through 1 June). In the gallery’s new 25,000 square foot venue, visitors will discover massive black walnut wood sculptures depicting McCarthy’s versions of characters drawn from the famous 19th century German folk tale Schneewittchen (Snow White) and his caricatures of modern interpretations of the story, including those in Disney’s beloved 1937 animated classic film ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.’ To create these works, McCarthy developed, abandoned, reworked and “fucked up” figures based upon Snow White-themed memorabilia and kitsch figurines. The resulting sculptures engage in willful distortion that suggests equally offbeat and charged psychic structures. In addition to conventional hand sculpting in clay, the artist employs computer mapping to digitally flesh out and manipulate shapes and details. By combining traditional techniques and cutting-edge technologies, McCarthy gradually duplicates elements and changes scale, combining reconstituted forms to “abstract through merging.” Appropriating images and narratives from the culture industry, McCarthy draws from Hollywood's tactics for re-structuring reality. Like Walt Disney, he assumes the role of artist as producer, a role he also performs in WS. With the latest White Snow works, McCarthy alludes to Disney's contribution to the Golden Age of Animation and raises questions about how an artist's work rearranges and deranges definitions of art, culture, and thought.