Paul McCarthy

United States 1945

Sculpture, Performance Art

Paul McCarthy
Paul McCarthy
Male
United States
1945
October 23, 2014
Music, Gestalt, .

A genuine radical of true perversion, Paul McCarthy is an American contemporary artist, dedicated to messing with viewer sensibility, while at the same time achieving broad mainstream popularity. Santa carrying butt plug-in, Snow White as a nymphomaniac and dwarfs depicted as extremely horny – McCarthy is a master of grotesque fables, metaphors for our social dis-ease. Originally trained as a painter, his oeuvre includes drawings and paintings, which he took to another level by using himself as a tool for the process, eventually even as a canvas; however, he is best known for his sculptures and performances, but also videos, whose vertiginous effects always seem to have given way to ever more disorienting and ornate stories.

Paul McCarthy is a welcome guest at the Paris Tree gallery.
Paul McCarthy – White Snow Dwarf (Grumpy), 2012 (Left) / White Snow Dwarf, Sleepy #1 (Midget), 2012 (Right) – photo credits Fredrik Nilsen

Paul McCarthy’s Personal Life

Born into a liberal Mormon family in Salt Lake City, McCarthy studied at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, and continued his studies at the University of Utah until 1969. He received a BFA in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute, and in 1972, he received an MFA from the University of Southern California, focusing on film video and art. Quickly achieving a reputation among his fellow artists, McCarthy’s life hasn’t been exactly an easy one. Similarly to many other West-Coast artists who came of age around 1960, he was also attracted to the materially messy, psychologically fraught side of Abstract Expressionism, which he transmuted into performances. Slathering himself with ketchup, chain-sawing the furniture and painting with his penis was his usual acts at the time. Long before the abject body became a dominant theme in the 90’s, he was already there, presenting the human form as a gaseous, leaky container, and gender as a fluid condition. These anarchic early works made sense during the Vietnamese War, and his later work represented a direct attack on American normality, something that seemed to fit the emotional chaos of the AIDS era. And while he rarely referred to specific political issues, this was still intensely political art. In fact, it was intense that galleries and museums weren’t sure what to do with it, and people simply didn’t buy it. For years, he was forced to support his family by doing pickup work in construction and photography that occasionally brought him into Los Angeles film studios. Hollywood and the mechanics of film fantasy are a primary source of his work.[1] Now that the market has finally discovered him, this statement is particularly true of the most recent works that tend to be big-budget projects.

The abject body was his dominant theme some twenty years before others finally recognized its potential

Paul McCarthy frequently visits Paris, where he enjoys showing his work.
Paul McCarthy – Piggies, 2007, installation view at Middelheim Sculpture Museum, Antwerp, Belgium – photo credits Philippe de Gobert (Left) / Air Pressure, 2009, installation view at De Uithof, City of Utrecht, Netherlands – photo credits Misha de Ridder (Right)

Related Artists and Style

In the beginning of his career, McCarthy was often compared to the works of Happenings and Viennese Actionists. His works in the late 60’s, such as Mountain Bowling (1969) and Hold an Apple in Your Armpit (1970) are similar to the ones produced by the Happenings founder Allan Kaprow, with whom McCarthy had a professional relationship.[2] As for the Viennese Actionists, the artist admits that their work was quite known to him in the early 70’s, but he sees and sets a clear difference between their work and his own. He didn’t go through Catholicism and WWII as a teenager and he didn’t live in a European movement – his process came from the kids’ television in LA. “People make references to Viennese art without really questioning the fact that there is a big difference between ketchup and blood. I never thought of my work as shamanistic. My work is more about being a clown than a shaman.”[3] On one side, his points of reference are rooted in things typically considered as American – Soap Operas, Comics, Disneyland, and B-Movies, while the artist positions himself as a critical analyst of the mass media and consumer-driven American society and its hypocrisy, double standards and repression. On the other side, the European art has significantly influenced his visual language, including people like Sigmund Freud, Samuel Beckett, Joseph Beuys, and the movements like Lost Art Movement, and the above-mentioned Viennese Actionism. In the 70’s and early 80’s, Beuys played a major role for McCarthy; not just for him, for the entire European scene. He was critical of the way the world looked at European artists, and he marked the shift from the emphasis on New York to Europe. He was the first European art star since the prewar period.

Abstract Expressionism, the movement that influenced McCarthy at the beginning of his career, was New York-based. Even Jackson Pollock, who was a Westerner and grew up mostly in Los Angeles, followed the examples of his peers, such as Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning, and moved to New York. Another name for abstract expressionism is, indeed, the New York School. While the Big Apple became the undisputed capital of modern art, its artists, gallerists and critics pushing neo-dada, then pop, then minimalism, then post-minimalism, things were looking quite different on the west coast. There was the sky, western car culture, and Hollywood. Edward Kienholz used the car culture as an image of American excess in visceral, sexually explicit installations, even insisting that, after his death, he should be buried in a 1940 Packard coupe. He was the most politically conscious and satirical of the American artists, a splenetic and grotesque scenarist whose tableaux revile the American dream, mocking postwar affluence with dark echoes of the Depression and an atmosphere of fetid decay.[4] Another great distinction of California art is based on the fact that much of it is edgy, angry, and skeptical of mainstream values. This very skepticism is painfully obvious in McCarthy’s work. Bruce Conner and his decadent assemblages that mix pornographic imagery and fetishistic materials reveal one more Californian thing that greatly influenced McCarthy – Hollywood. Studios, actors, cameras – all very intriguing for the young artist who moved to LA in 1970. Even though he lacked the bite of young and mutilating Marina Abramovic or Chris Burden, McCarthy nevertheless joined his peers in antagonizing conservative middle-class sensibilities.

By performing feats like rubbing his naked body against a white table and then slathering his penis and testicles with what Americans normally put on their French fries, he inspired generations of artists who adored coating themselves in condiments or inserting objects into their anuses, such as Matthew Barney or Karen Finley. In the 1990s, disease, death, and bodies became one of the most potent themes and Damien Hirst created A Thousand Years, depicting live flies as they feed on a cow’s head, and Lucian Freud painted portraits of the performance artist Leigh Bowery. As art rediscovered flesh, the attention fell on McCarthy, who’s been using his own body for more than twenty years. Suddenly, he was recognized as a master, whose reach could be felt everywhere, from Chapman brothers to Nathaniel Mellors. And yet, the early days were somewhat different for McCarthy. Conceptually speaking, drawing has always been at the core of his process. Everything he envisions must be placed on paper, and drawing serves its purpose – sometimes as a starting point, sometimes as an artwork all by itself. The artist is best known for his sculptures and performances, but also for his videos. As soon he began using video, he was more interested in its properties as an object than merely a mode of documentation. This was extremely prescient, considering that he began transforming his performance art into videos as soon as he arrived in Los Angeles, with Spinning, in 1970. But he consciously makes a distinction between his work and that of his close circle of peers on the West Coast: Bruce [Nauman] was very much concerned with process, and Chris [Burden] was not so interested in video as he was in the single iconic moment, but I was immediately intrigued by how the videotape itself could be an art object, a form that when watched would not be a surrogate explanation for some previous event, but a narrative body itself.”

He inspired generations of artists that came after

Paul McCarthy
Paul McCarthy x Damon McCarthy – Caribbean Pirates, 2001-2005, installation view at Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent, Belgium, 2007 – photo credits Dirk Pauwels

Recent Popular Shows

In 2009, the artist presented his solo show entitled White Snow, where he drew upon the famous 19th-century German folk tale ‘Snow White’ (‘Schneewittchen’) and commenting upon the modern interpretation of the story in Disney’s beloved 1937 animated classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The young Snow White masturbating in a solitary romantic reverie, various phallic-nosed dwarfs in a dither at the arrival of the beautiful stranger in their midst – he develops his characters and depicts them as players in a sly yet poignant coming-of-age narrative packing a metaphorical wallop. As one of the few exhibitions ever to focus exclusively on Paul McCarthy’s drawings, White Snow provides rare access to the initial stages of exploration that fuel the work of one of America’s most challenging and influential artists. McCarthy’s early investigations into his characters always occur through repeated and even compulsive sketching, a process that reveals layers of connections. The exhibition took place at Hauser & Wirth in New York. In 2014, McCarthy, one of the most provocative and influential voices in multimedia, sculpture and performance art, unveiled new paintings in his first exhibition devoted to the medium since the 1980s. His paintings represent the latest iteration of two major ongoing projects within his multidisciplinary practice: White Snow and Stagecoach. The show, titled WS SC, combines the artist’s two central motifs with the language of painting as subject matter in itself, invoking the art historical canon as a framework for his narratives. The exhibition was held at Hauser & Wirth in London. In 2015, the exhibition titled Spin Offs: White Snow WS. Caribbean Pirates CP, marks the latest iteration of the White Snow series, while the Caribbean Pirates series features a monumental assemblage installation and new resin block sculptures. Inspired by the Disneyland attraction and movie Pirates of the Caribbean, the Caribbean Pirates project began as a collaboration between Paul McCarthy and his son, Damon, in 2001 and has since spawned sculptures, performance, and film. The show took place at Hauser & Wirth in Zürich.

These selected exhibitions provide some insight into the career of one of the most controversial artists today

Paul McCarthy also held an exhibition at Paris Tree gallery in 2014.
Paul McCarthy – Dick Eye, 2002 (Left) / Shit Face, 2002 (Right)

Legacy

The 60’s and 70’s were marked by his absolutely outré performance work, which, even in that most uncommercial moment of avant-garde process-based explorations of oneself, was so viscerally disquieting as to transgress the archest radicalisms of the day. In the 90’s, he turned to object making with just enough uncanny humor that somehow the art world embraced ideas, sensations, and experiences that have always been so patently impolite one could never imagine them in a gallery, let alone a collector’s home.[5] McCarthy escaped from the quagmire of financial struggles and managed to establish himself as one of the most influential artists of the contemporary world. Today, he is widely known for pioneering abject performances and for his sculptural dioramas of bourgeois depravity.

He is represented by Hauser & Wirth.

Paul McCarthy lives and works in Los Angeles.

References:

  1. Cotter H. The American Fairy Tale, Fun House Style, The New York Times [September 23,2016]
  2. Klein J. Paul McCarthy: Rites of Masculinity, PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art [Volume 23, Issue 2, May 2001]
  3. Petersen M. Paul McCarthy’s 40 years of hard work-an attempt at a summary, Head Shop/Shop Head. Göttingen: Steidl Verlag, 2006
  4. Jones J. Paul McCarthy: ‘I had this thing about exposing the interior of the body’, The Guardian [September 23,2016]
  5. MCormick C. PAUL MCCARTHY’S ABJECT OBJECT OF DESIRE, Issue Magazine [September 23,2016]

Featured image: Paul McCarthy – performance with ketchup – photo credits Gérard Rancinan, via animalnewyork.com
All other images courtesy of Hauser & Wirth

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2012The Best of Times, The Worst of Times—Rebirth and Apocalypse in Contemporary Art Mystetskyi Arsenal, Arsenale 2012, The First Kyiv International Biennial of Contempary Art, Kiev, UkraineGroup
2012Common Ground' Public Art Fund, City Hall Park, New York, NYGroup
2012Studio + Kitchen = Laboratories of the Senses, Marta Herford, Herford, GermanyGroup
2012Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974, MOCA Geffen Contemporary, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2012Bye Bye American Pie, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires MALBA, Buenos Aires, ArgentinaGroup
2012REBEL, Museum of Contemporary Art MOCA, JF Chen, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2012Histories of Art, VOX Contemporary Image, Montreal, CanadaGroup
2012State of Mind: New California Art circa 1970, Berkely Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, UC Berkley, Berkley, CAGroup
2012This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, ILGroup
2012L.A. RAW: Abject Expressionism in Los Angeles 1945-1980, From Rico Lebrun to Paul McCarthy', Pasadena Museum of California Art PMAC, Pasadena, CAGroup
2012Paul McCarthy, Nine Dwarves, Kukje Gallery, Seoul, Korea Solo
2012Utopia Gesamtkunstwerk, 21er Haus, Museum of Schloss Belvedere, Vienna, AustriaGroup
2012Hotel California (part II), Mitterand+Cramer, Geneva, SwitzerlandGroup
2012100 Years (version #4 Boston, 2012), Boston University Art Gallery, Boston MAGroup
2012Los Angeles Free Music Society: Beneath the Valley of the Lowest Form of Music, The Box, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2011–2012MUMO, Musee Mobile, project sponsored by UNESCO (a mobile exhibtion for children ages 6-12 visiting over 60 schools traveling throughout France, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Benin and Senegal)Group
2011–2012American Exuberance, Rubell Family Collection, Miami, USA Group
2011–2012Dance You Life, Centre Pompidou, ParisGroup
2011–2012State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970, OCMA Orange County Museum of Art, USAGroup
2011–2012Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-81, MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art, Newport, USA Group
2011Surreal versus Surrealism in Contemporary Art, IVAM, Valenica, Spain Group
2011Los Angeles Goes Live: Exploring a Social History of Performance Art in Southern California, USA Group
2011Festival of the Animals, Essel Museum, Klostemeuburg, Austria Group
2011Out of Storage, FRAC Nord-Pas de Calais collection, Maastricht, NetherlandsGroup
2011Investigations of a Dog: Works from the FACE Collections, DESTE Foundation, Athens, GreeceGroup
2011Another Kind of Vapor, White Flag Projects, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA Group
2011Between film and art—storyboards by Hitchcock to Spielberg” Kunsthalle Emden, Emden, GermanyGroup
2011The Luminous Interval, D. Daskalopoulos Collection, Guggenheim Bilbao, Bilbao, SpainGroup
2011In Praise of Doubt, Punta della Dogana, Francois Pinault Foundation, Venice, ItalyGroup
2011Glimmer, Fundacion,Coleccion Jumex, Mexico City, MexicoGroup
2011Soaps, Flukes, and Follies, Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art, Nashville, USA (group)Group
2011Compass—drawings from the MoMA New York” Martin Gropius Bau, BerlinGroup
2011Two Colors, Kathleen Cullen Fine Art & Elisabeth Ivers Gallery, New YorkGroup
2011Unpainted Paintings, Luxembourg & Dayan, New YorkGroup
2011Investigations of a Dog: Works from the FACE Collections, Magasin 3 StockholmGroup
2011TEXTandVIDEO, FEMALE: Art After the 60s, PKM Trinity Gallery, Seoul, Korea, Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden (traveling exhibition),Group
2011The Luxury of Dirt, Galerie Bob van Orsouw, Zurich, Switzerland, Group
2011Move: Art and Dance Since the 60s, Haus der Kunst, traveling exhibition, Munich,Group
2011Choreografing You, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (Travelling Exhibition),Group
2011Disorder in the House, Vanhaerents Art Collection, Brussels, Belgium,Group
2011Unreal, Vancouver Artgallery, Vancouver, Canada, (group)Group
2011L.A. Raw: Abject Expressionism in Los Angeles 1945-1980, From Rico Leburn to PaulGroup
2011Living Archives—Kooperation Van Abbemuseum, Kunsthaus Bregnenz, Bregenz, AustriaGroup
2011DeKooning, DeKooning, DeKooning, David Risley Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark Group
20118 ½”, Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Stazione Leopolda, Florence, ItalyGroup
2011MUMO Musee Mobile, project sponsored by UNESCO(a mobile exhibtion for children ages 6-12 visiting over 60 schools traveling throughout France, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Benin, and Senegal)Group
2011The King, The Island, The Train, The House, The Ship' Hauser & Wirth, Piccadilly, London, and Hauser & Wirth, Savile Row, London, UKSolo
2011The Dwarves, The Forest, Hauser & Wirth New York, NYSolo
2011Sculpture: Paul McCarthy, Henry Moore Bound to Fail, KOR Kunsthalle Wien public space Solo
2011Paul McCarthy: White Snow Dwarf (Dopey #1), Hammer Museum UCLA, Westwood, LA Solo
2011Selected Works of Paul McCarthy' Charles Riva Collection, Brussels, BelgiumSolo
2010–2011 200 Artworks—25 Years, Seoul Arts Center, Hangaram Museum, Seoul, KoreaGroup
2010–2011WHAT DOES MY SOUL while I’m working? Contemporary art works from the Consolandi, Museo Arte Gallarate, Gallarate, ItalyGroup
2010–2011Facing the Wall (Face au mur), MUDAC, Lausanne, Switzerland Group
2010–2011Childish Things, Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, UKGroup
2010–2011James Ensor—Hareng Saur: Ensor and contemporary art, S.M.A.K, Gent, Belgium Group
2010–2011MOVE: Art and Dance in the 60s, Hayward Gallery traveling to Haus Der Kunst, LondonGroup
2010TAPS: Improvisations with Paul Burwell, Matts Gallery, London Group
2010When Shit Becomes Form, Kunsthalle Goppingen, Goppingen, GermanyGroup
2010Hydrarchy: Power and Resistence at Sea, Gasworks Triangle Arts Trust, LondonGroup
2010Gestures & Procedures, Southbank, AustraliaGroup
2010Barbaric Freedom, Simon Lee Gallery, LondonGroup
2010Post Monument, XIV Biennale di Carrara, Carrara, ItalyGroup
2010The Beauty of Distance, Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age,17th Biennale of 2010Group
2010Sexuality and Transcendence, Pinchuk Art Center, Kyiv, Ukraine Group
2010I Love You, ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Aarhus, DenmarkGroup
2010Permanent Trouble. Contempary Art from the Collection Kopp Munich, Regenburg, GermanyGroup
2010Soaps, Flukes, and Follies, Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art, Nashville,Group
2010The Imaginary Museum, the Dakis Joannou Collection, New Museum, New York Group
2010Collecting Biennials, Whitney Museum, New YorkGroup
2010Gestures—Performance and Sound Art, MFSK Museum of Contemporary Art, Roskild, DenmarkGroup
2010Die Kunst ist Super!, Hamburger Bahnhof Museum fur Gegenwart, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2010UntitledSammlung Friedrichshof, Zurndorf, Austria Solo
2010Paul McCarthy—Three Sculptures, L&M Arts, Los Angeles, CA Solo
2010UntitledTrussardi Foundation, Milan, ItalySolo
2009White Snow, Hauser & Wirth, New York, NYSolo
2009Paul McCarthy, Galerie Hauser & Wirth, Zurich, Switzerland Solo
2009Air Pressure, De Uithof, Utrecht, Netherlands Solo
2009Paul McCarthy & Benjamin Weissman—Quilting Sessions, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland Solo
2009UntitledEesti Kunstimuuseum, Tallin, Estonia Solo
2009Where Do We Go From Here?, Bass Museum of Art, Miami, USAGroup
2009Beg, Borrow, and Steal, Rubell Family Collection, Miami, USA Group
2009Eating the Universe: Food in Art, Kunsthalle Dusseldorf, Germany Group
2009California Maximalists, Foundation 20 21,Nyehaus, New York Group
2009I Use Perfume to Occupy More Space”, MACG Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City, MexicoGroup
2009Manoeuvres 23:Transmissions, Chantier du Collège Sismondi, Geneva, SwitzerlandGroup
2009The Artist’s Studio,Compton Verney, Warwichshire, EnglandGroup
2009No Sound of Music, Kunstlerhaus, Salzburg, AustriaGroup
2009Beyond Black, White and Gray, L&M Arts, New York, USA Group
2009My Generation, Kurimanzutto, Mexico City, MexicoGroup
2009Boule to Braid, Lisson Gallery, London, England,Group
2009Who’s Afraid of the Artists (Qui a peur des Artistes?), Palais des Arts de Dinard, Dinard City, FranceGroup
2009Target Practice: Painting Under Attack 1949-78”, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, CaliforniaGroup
2009Mapping the Studio: Artists From the Francois Pinault Collection, Palazzo Grassi, Milan, ItalyGroup
2009Jacques Charlier: 100 Sexes D’Artistes, Venice, ItalyGroup
2009A Guest + A Host = A Ghost”, Deste Foundation, Athens, Greece Group
2009Compass in Hand: Selections from The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary, Drawings Collection, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USAGroup
2009The Same River Twice: Part 2, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, AustraliaGroup
2009Un Certain Etat du Monde?, The Garage, Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow Group
2009Soaps, Flukes & Follies, Cheekwood Museum of Art, Nashville, USAGroup
2009N’Importe Quoi, Musee d’Art Contemporian de Lyon, Lyon, FranceGroup
2009Sonic Youth Etc.:Sensational Fix, Kunsthalle Dusseldorf, Dusseldorf, GermanyGroup
2008The Collection of Helga de Alvear in Dialog with the Falckenberg Collection, Phoenix Kulturstiftung, Hamburg, GermanyGroup
2008Looking Back: The White Columns Annual, White Columns, New YorkGroup
2008The Cult of Personality-Portraits and Mass Culture, Galerie Erna Hecey, Bruxelles, Belgium Group
2008Here is Every, Four Decades of Contemporary Art, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USAGroup
2008I Am Making Art, Centro Huarte De Arte Contemporaneo, Huarte-Navarra, Spain Group
2008Film Programme October, Film Museum, Vienna, AustriaGroup
2008I Can’t Slice Off an Ear Every Day, Nationalgalerie im Hamburgurer Bahnhof, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2008Weighing and Wanting: Selections from the Permanent Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego, USAGroup
2008UntitledPlatform Seoul, Artsonje Center, Seoul, KoreaGroup
2008UntitledYokohama Triennale 2008, Time Crevasse, Yokohama, JapanGroup
2008The Collection of Helga de Alvear in Dialog with the Falckenberg Collection, Phoenix Kulturstiftung, Hamburg, GermanyGroup
2008Looking Back: The White Columns Annual, White Columns, New York Group
2008The Cult of Personality-Portraits and Mass Culture, Galerie Erna Hecey, Bruxelles, Belgium Group
2008Here is Every, Four Decades of Contemporary Art, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USAGroup
2008I Am Making Art, Centro Huarte De Arte Contemporaneo, Huarte-Navarra, Spain Group
2008Film Programme October, Film Museum, Vienna, AustriaGroup
2008I Can’t Slice Off an Ear Every Day, Nationalgalerie im Hamburgurer Bahnhof, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2008Weighing and Wanting: Selections from the Permanent Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego, USAGroup
2008Platform Seoul, Artsonje Center, Seoul, KoreaGroup
2008Paul McCarthy: Central Symmetrical Rotation Movement Three Installations, Two Films, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York Solo
2008On Procession”, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, USA Group
2008Martian Museum of Terrestrial Art, Barbican Artgallery, London Group
2008California Video, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los AngelesGroup
2008Hotel Marienbad 002: Rausch Collection, Kunst-Werke Berlin-Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2008Paul McCarthy’s Low Life Slow Life: Part 1, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San FranciscoGroup
2008Group Show, 1301PE, Los AngelesGroup
2008The Sound of Art, MuseumsQuartier, Vienna, Austria Group
2008The Puppet Show, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USAGroup
2008Southern Exposure: Works from the Collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Deigo, The Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney, Sydney, AustraliaGroup
2008Don’t Play with Dead Things, Centre National d’art contemporian, La Villa Arson, Nice, FranceGroup
2007National Gallery of Victoria, 'Guggenheim Collection: 1940s to Now. New York – Venice – Bilbao – Berlin', Melbourne,AUGroup
2007The Fractured Figure, Deste Foundation, Athens, GreeceGroup
2007Live Work: Performance into Drawing', Museum of Modern Art, New York, NYGroup
2007Nothing Else Matters,De Hallen Haarlem, Haarlem, NetherlandsGroup
2007Fine Art Fair Frankfurt 2007, Frankfurt, GermanyGroup
2007Domus Artium 2002, IDYLLE, Salamanca, SpainGroup
2007Kunsthalle Mannheim, 100 Jahre Kunsthalle Mannheim, Mannheim, GermanyGroup
200710. Triennale Kleinplastik Fellbach, Bodycheck, Fellbach, GermanyGroup
2007Kunstpalast Düsseldorf, Die Kunst zu Sammeln, Düsseldorf, GermanyGroup
2007Kunstverein Braunschweig, Kunst aus Los Angeles der 60er bis 90er Jahre, Braunschweig,DEGroup
2007Fit to Print – Printed Media in recent Collage,Gagosian Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2007Getty Center, Evidence of Movement, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2007Bare Life,Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem, IsraelGroup
2007Who’s got the big picture?,Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerp BelgiumGroup
2007 A Point in Space is a Place for an Argument,David Zwirner, New York, NYGroup
2007Disorder in the House,Vanhaerents Art Collection, Brussels, BelgiumGroup
2007The Jim Barr and Mary Barr CollectionChristchurch Art Gallery, Reboot , Christchurch, New ZealandGroup
2007There is never a stop and never a finish.Hamburger Bahnhof, Werke aus der Friedrich Christian Flick Collection im Hamburger Bahnhof. In memoriam Jason Rhoades', Group
2007 Panic Attack! Art in the Punk Years,Barbican Center, London, EnglandGroup
2007Dream & Trauma – Works from the Dakis Joannou Collection,Kunsthalle Wien & MUMOK, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Athens', Vienna, AustriaGroup
2007Maccarone Gallery, New York, NY Paul McCarthy’s Chocolate Factory,Group
2007S.M.A.K. Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst Paul McCarthy – Head ShopShop Head, Gent, Belgium Solo
2007The Essl Collection, Paul McCarthy: Tokyo Santa 1996-2004,Solo
2007Middelheim Sculpture Museum, Paul McCarthy – Air Born Air Borne Air Pressure, Antwerp, Belgium, Klosterneuburg, AustriaSolo
2007Portfolios, Zurich, Switzerland Hauser & Wirth Zürich, Paul McCarthy – Damon McCarthy. Solo
2007 Paul McCarthy – Head Shop-Shop Head,ARoS Aarhus Museum of Art, Aarhus, DenmarkSolo
2007Final Cut – Medienkunst und Kino,European Media Art Festival, Osnabrück, GermanyGroup
2006Paul McCarthy,Moderna Museet, Stockholm, SwedenGroup
2005Paul McCarthy,Haus der Kunst, Munich, GermanyGroup
2004Paul McCarthy,CAC, Malaga, SpainGroup
2004Paul McCarthy. Brain Box – Dream Box,Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, NetherlandsGroup
2003Paul McCarthy,Hauser & Wirth London, Piccadilly Circus, London, EnglandGroup
2003Lyon Biennal, Lyon, FranceGroup
2003Paul McCarthy at Tate Modern,Tate Modern, London, EnglandGroup
2002Passenger. The Viewer as Participant,Astrup Fearnly Museum of Modern Art, Oslo, NorwayGroup
2002 Mapping The Process,Essor Gallery Limited, London, EnglandGroup
2002Plus Ultra',Kunstraum Innsbruck, Innsbruck, AustriaGroup
2002Shit Plug,Galerie Hauser & Wirth, Paul McCarthy & Jason Rhoades. Zurich, SwitzerlandGroup
2002Paul McCarthy. Clear Thoughts,Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2002 Frans Halsmuseum, Paul McCarthy. Videos und Fotografien,De Hallen, Haarlem, NetherlandsGroup
2002Paul McCarthy. Videos,Butler Gallery, Kilkenny, IrelandGroup
2001Paul McCarthy'Tate Liverpool, , Liverpool, EnglandGroup
2001 Paul McCarthy, Pirate Drawings,Galerie Hauser & Wirth, Zurich, SwitzerlandGroup
2001Paul McCarthy. Videos und Fotografien,Kunstverein Hamburg, Hamburg, GermanyGroup
2001Paul McCarthy,Villa Arson, Nice, FranceGroup
2001Paul McCarthy The Garden,Deitch Projects, New York, NYGroup
2001 The Box,Public Art Fund (IBM Building), New York, NYGroup
2001Paul McCarthy,Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2001, Let's Entertain: Life's Guilty Pleasures, Museo Rufino TamayoMexico City, MexicoGroup
2001Extreme Connoisseurship,Harvard University Art Museum, Cambridge, MAGroup
2001Group Show,Chac Mool Gallery, West Hollywood, CAGroup
2000Drawings 2000,Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2000Pinturas amuebladas,Galeria OMR, Mexico City, MexicoGroup
2000Lost, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, United KingdomGroup
2000Paul McCarthy,New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NYGroup
2000'Heidi File'MOCA Geffen Contemporary, , Los Angeles, CAGroup
2000Paul McCarthy,MOCA, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2000Heidi File,Patrick Painter, Inc. Santa Monica, CAGroup
2000The Fashion Show,George's, Los Angeles, CAGroup
1999Dimensions of the Mind,Sammlung Hauser und Wirth in der Lokremise St. Gallen, St. Gall, SwiterlandGroup
1998Out of Actions: Between Performance and the Object, 1949-1979',Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, USAGroup