Paul McCarthy's Low Life Slow Life: Part 2

January 27, 2009 to May 30, 2009

Paul McCarthy's Low Life Slow Life is a two-part exhibition curated by the acclaimed Los Angeles-based artist Paul McCarthy. It presents a diverse range of artists and artworks related to McCarthy's memories of his own career.

The first part, presented in 2008, investigated his student years in Salt Lake City and San Francisco during the 1960s. This second part focuses on his years in Los Angeles from 1970 to the present, with an emphasis on the emergence of alternative performance practices, Conceptual art, and video art. Lacking a definite chronological starting point, however, it follows some of its thematic trajectories back to the 1950s.

McCarthy's curatorial selections are eclectic and unconventional, deriving more from his personal recollections than from any historical, objective measure of artistic influence. Low Life Slow Life: Part 2 features works by Walt Disney, Howard Fried, Rachel Khedoori, Les Levine, Dennis Oppenheim, and Lil Picard.

Although McCarthy did not achieve international recognition until the 1990s, he has been an influential figure on California's art scene for more than 30 years. His early performance work of the 1970s explored the body and sexuality. The intensity of these performances, which often included graphic depictions of taboo subjects, eventually led him into further explorations and exploitations of video and film, special effects, and large-scale installation as he continually strove to heighten the effect of his work. Today McCarthy is considered one of the most influential living American artists.

FILM SCREENINGS: An extensive film program will accompany the exhibition, including films by Michael Snow, Les Levine, Bruce Nauman, Guy Debord, Silviana Goldsmith, Lil Picard, Amikam Goldman, Valie Export and Kurt Kren.

The film screenings take place at 7 p.m. in the Timken Lecture Hall, California College of the Arts, 1111 Eighth Street (at 16th and Wisconsin), San Francisco CA 94107. All events are free and open to the public.