Dan McCarthy

May 15 - June 21, 2003

For his second show at Anton Kern Gallery, American artist Dan McCarthy will present a selection of earlier paintings (1992 to 1994) along with recent canvases of the past year. A new catalogue, featuring reproductions of earlier paintings flanked by the haiku texts of Philip Taaffe, will accompany the show.


Dan McCarthy’s paintwork is figurative yet bizarrely abstract. Likewise, his treatment of oil paint belies the canvas’s vibrant veneer to suggest gouache and watercolor. Through a steady blur of style and technique, the artist lulls us to a distant world of memories, dreams and fairy tales, where the strange collides with the ordinary.


His earlier paintings are perfect examples of personal vision combined with the intensity of materials, where the subject of the painting reflects the application of the painting itself. Images and themes ranging from the mystical to allegorical occupy the same shadowy terrain as the colors used to create them.


Sun-baked colors ignite the new paintings yet the subject matter remains fused to the painting process. One can’t distinguish the image from the technique. In a few paintings, the figures appear to melt away as if yielding to a momentary lapse into obscurity. They investigate the idea of compassion in a place where rainbows elude existence, skateboards wield youth and freedom and fish characterize development and the search of enlightenment.

Installation Views