This winter, a display at the Dean Gallery
will examine how art institutions present the figure of the artist. Painter and The Studio will contrast the Gallerys own re-creation of a studio of sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi with the video work Painter (1995), a deliberately provocative artwork by American artist Paul McCarthy (b.1945).
Painter shows the grotesque figure of the artist at work, taking a comic and savage look at myths of artistic creativity and the art-world: a self-obsessed painter waiting for inspiration in his studio, laboring on the canvas, holding narcissistic meetings with an art dealer, and self-important curators.
Images of artists in their studio have a long tradition in art history, spanning the Renaissance to Romanticism and beyond. In picturing themselves at work, artists often created flattering and dramatic portraits, intended to reflect a particular self-image. Since the 1960s, these self-images have been increasingly questioned. While art criticizm exposed clichés and stock phrases, artists themselves attacked and criticized old-fashioned artistic stereotypes. Paul McCarthy is one of the most influential of these artists. With a traditional background in painting, McCarthy made his name with performance art, mocking traditional artistic ideas.
McCarthys piece is shown next to the Dean Gallerys own Paolozzi Studio. This display is an educational stage-set, exhibiting the generous donation of Scottish artist Eduardo Paolozzi (1924-2005), and is one of our most popular and successful displays. By contrasting the Studio presentation with McCarthys critique, Painter and The Studio casts a second glance at how art galleries present the making of art.
Paul McCarthy (b. 1945, USA) lives and works in California. Recent solo exhibitions include Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2008); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2006); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2005); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2005); Tate Liverpool (2003). Recent Group Exhibitions include MoMA Museum of Modern Art, New York; Hamburger Bahnhof Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin; Barbican Art Gallery, London; J.Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.