Caroline McCarthy: Crisps, toilet-paper, plastic bags, packaging, rubbish, furniture are some of the everyday materials brought into conversation with certain modes of art production and display, in work which explores the nature of representation, consumerism, visual hierarchy and ideas of value and taste.
Caroline McCarthy was born in Dublin and studied at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin; and Goldsmiths College, London. Her work has been exhibited widely, with solo shows including Green on Red, Dublin; Gimpel Fils, London; Hoet Bekaert, Ghent; Parker’s Box Gallery, New York; Limerick City Art Gallery; Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin; Gasworks, London; Void Gallery, Derry; and Bugdahn und Kaimer, Dusseldorf. Group shows include Europe Exists, curated by Rosa Martinez and Harald Szeemann, MMCA, Greece (2003); East End Academy, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2004); To Be Continued, curated by The British Council, Helsinki Kunsthalle, Finland (2005); (Z)art curated by Jan Hoet, AbtArt, Stuttgart (2010); Group Coordination, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2014); and Dismaland, curated by Banksy, Somerset, UK (2015).
She has also worked on a number of large-scale public projects including a commission for King’s College London with the Contemporary Art Society and a citywide project for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival. Her work is included in the collections of The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Allied Irish Bank, Arts Council of Ireland, Office of Public Works, Zabludowicz Collection, European Central Bank, Berge Madrid, and private collections.
The way in which Xavier Theunis formulates this question — his own plastic vocabulary, his visual singularities, his building process — are quite unique. Any reference to the window or the building process here above are very much intentional. As indeed, Theunis’ works strive to analyse the various ways in which to “construct” a painting. This is also true in his most recent projects — Vues d’atelier/Studio views and Paysages/Landscapes
The two abstract series mentioned follow a similar working pattern. Over large metal plates, colourful adhesive scraps - that have been sourced from a sign manufacturer — are gathered. A painting that is edified from scraps does naturally question the very finality of a work of art. It questions as well the relation of fine art with decoration using a two-pronged approach, which can be perilous. First, it gambles with the sourcing of the scraps and finding ways to assemble them. Second, it plays with the ambiguity of colourism when the artist himself confesses to using shades “not always self-evident and not really chosen”. Shades that he doesn’t necessarily like but that enable him to accentuate some tensions in their interconnections to each other. The result could hardly be called an image.
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