Dan McCarthy

April 7 - May 14, 2005

Anton Kern Gallery is pleased to announce the third solo show at the gallery of New York artist Dan McCarthy. Dan McCarthy’s recent body of paintings puts a new spin on the traditional theme of beach scenes. The paintings are populated with bathers, on the beach or in the water, often under an awe-inspiring sky radiating with sun, moon and sparkling starlit night. The fact that many of the bathers are surfers almost becomes secondary to the immediate sensation of warmth, wonder and the dream-like quality these paintings emanate. The paintings’ electric luminosity, jewel-like surface, and depth of color instantly draw the viewer into the artist’s imagined world.


Some of McCarthy’s paintings depict such seemingly mundane scenes as a nude female bather doing a pirouette on the beach, or a young couple holding hands under a white moon. Others however, display a nearly mythological temperament, such as the naked record collectors sitting in a circle on the beach, or the single female surfer riding a wave under a sky that resembles the dynamic motion of one of Saturn’s rings, or the balding surfer showing his spears in silent dialogue to a swordfish as if engaged in a timeless struggle between man and beast, or the band of surfers (closer to Jason and the Argonauts than bathers) returning from the water under a fantastic moon-lit night sky.


McCarthy leaves all naturalism behind; instead, the artist formulates a personal pictorial language of visionary painting reminiscent of the work of Douanier Rousseau and Edward Munch. Visionary in the way in which nature and human interaction are finely balanced, and secondly – and most significantly - a kind of painting that exists through pure visuality and the quality of the painted surface. This is where McCarthy’s idea of utopia exists, within the painting, inside the realm of art.


The show in the back room is a reunion of sorts. It brings together the three artists and friends Mark Flood, Jack Pierson, and Dan McCarthy and takes stock of their current output of drawings. This show is the continuation of a 2000 show entitled “The Boys in Bubbles.”

Installation Views