In the 1960s, Paul McCarthy began executing raw performances that pushed the boundaries of his own body. He recorded many of these performances on film, documentation that is now the lasting remnant of a young artist's forays into experimental body art.
After attending the University of Utah from 1966-1968, Paul McCarthy received his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1969 and his MFA from the University of Southern California in 1973. He has been featured in solo exhibitions at venues including Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2008); Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent, Belgium (2007); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2005); Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands (2004); Tate Modern, London (2003); New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, and Kunstverein Hamburg (both in 2001); and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2000). McCarhthy has recently been included in group exhibitions at venues such as CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2009, 2008); Museum of Modern Art, New York, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, and Bariban Art Gallery, New York (all in 2008); Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, and the Deste Foundation, Athens (both in 2007); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2006); Centre George Pompidou, Paris (2006, 2005); Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, and Reina Sofia, Madrid (all in 2005); and Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2004). He has appeared in many international survey exhibitions, including Yokohama Triennale, Japan (2008); Berlin Biennial (2006); SITE Santa Fe and Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (both in 2004); and Lyon Biennale (2003).
—From acquisition narrative, 2009, by Douglas Fogle and Karin Campbell