Paul McCarthy - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Friday, October 16, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Luhring Augustine, New York; Bortolami Dayan Gallery, New York

  • Exhibited

    San Francisco Art Institute, Work Zones: three decades of contemporary art from San Francisco Art Institute, 11 May - 29 July, 2006 (another example exhibited)  

  • Literature

    P. McCarthy, ed., Paul McCarthy: Propo, Milan, 1999, n.p. (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Between 1972 and 1983, Paul McCarthy did a series of performances which included masks, bottles, pans, uniforms, dolls, stuffed animals and other found objects. After the performances, the objects were either left behind or they were collected and stored in suitcases and trunks to be used in future performances. In 1983, the closed suitcases and trunks containing these performance objects were stacked on a table and exhibited as sculpture. In 1991, Paul McCarhy opened the suitcases and trunks and photographed each item, titling the group of photographs in their entirety "PROPO."
    'McCarthy's props are manufactured, cheap and ubiquitous. In their tasteless vulgarity they can be understood as Pop art par excellence. At the same time, however, their flesh tones are suggestive yet androgynous sexuality lend them a certain eros. They are therefore both readymade and found object. McCarthy has used his props to give birth and to enact both coitus and castration. The props are fetishes, symbolic of desire and of death. Their infantilism is always defiled. Through assemblage some gain genetalia; all are spattered with liquid. Like dried blood, shit and indeed organic waste; McCarthy's "palette" always tends to varying shades of brown. His painted objects desiccated, sticky, unhygienic. Their dopey appeal is transformed into abjection by their apparent encounter with excrement, the great taboo of the human body. Yet, at the same time, it is only ketchup, mayonnaise, chocolate sauce. McCarthy transforms these processed food stuffs into paint, which in turn mimics bodily fluids. Their containers, also accorded the status of sculpture, are offered as analogues for the vagina, the penis, and the anus.' (I. Blazwick 'Masks, Statues: Paul McCarthy as figurative sculptor, in exhibition catalogue, Paul McCarthy. Head Shop/Shop Head: Works 1966-2006, Gottingen, 2006, p. 28) 


Untitled (from Propo-Series) (Peaches)

Cibachrome print mounted on aluminium.
124.5 x 185.5 cm. (49 x 73 in).
This work is from an edition of three.

£40,000 - 60,000 

Sold for £51,650

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

17 Oct 2009