Paul McCarthy

L&M Arts | Los Angeles

In 1968, Paul McCarthy built a hollow, galvanized steel structure shaped like the letter H and laid on its back. He titled it z-Dead H_ (the H standing for human), making additional versions in the years that followed—notably, Dead H Crawl, 1999, inside of which he imagined moving human bodies. In The Couch, a little-known video from 1973, we watch the artist force his body through a sofa feetfirst, only to emerge out the backside in a kind of birthing episode. And for the lifelike sculpture Dreaming, 2005, McCarthy produced a to-scale silicone model of his own pantless self reclining on a lawn chair. While only a fragment of a prolific career, this disjointed lineage offers a key to accessing the artist’s most recent sculptures, three of which were on view at L&M Arts for the inaugural show of its new LA branch, and which similarly take up the problem of self-figuration in both process

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