Hauser & Wirth
511 West 18th St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.
Hudson River Park, 17th St. & the Hudson River Pier
Tuesday - Saturday through June 1, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Controversial LA-based multimedia artist Paul McCarthy continues his assault on pop culture, and particularly the Wonderful World of Disney, in his latest installations, which will be seen all over the city this spring and summer. The Salt Lake City-born artist currently has two projects that run through Saturday, June 1. At Hauser & Wirth’s vast new space on West Eighteenth St., “Sculptures” consists of a series of large-scale black walnut pieces that relate a rather adult version of the story of Snow White, combining the 1812 Brothers Grimm German fairy tale “Schneewittchen” with the 1937 animated Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Many of the girls’ faces are caught mid-orgasm, most clearly depicted in “White Snow, Cindy” (which also references supermodel Cindy Crawford) and the totem “White Snow, Erection.” McCarthy plays with the collectible aspect of Disney figures in “White Snow, Bookends,” which is divided into two parts, one on its side. The show also includes a series of pencil drawings, “Étant donnés White Snow Walt Paul Forest,” and a wall of “White Snow Tree Forest Monochromes,” square and rectangular brown sculpture paintings composed of wood, foam, and bedliner, evoking muddy woods.
Outside and down the street, McCarthy’s bronze “Sisters” rises on the pier, a demented tableaux of decapitated animals, smiling squirrels and bunnies, an old television set, and other odd objects, centered by a pair of tall sisters on crumbling bases. It’s unlikely that Walt Disney would be happy with this scene, although the Brothers Grimm would probably be delighted. McCarthy, whose “Cultural Gothic,” a sculptural installation in which a man stands proudly next to his son, who is having sex with a goat, was a highlight of the New Museum’s recent “NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star” exhibition and whose “Balloon Dog” loomed large over the Frieze Art Fair on Randall’s Island earlier this month, will continue his fascination with Snow White at the Park Avenue Armory from June 19 through August 4, when the multimedia “WS” takes over the immense Wade Thompson Drill Hall; admission is $15 and limited to those eighteen and older, so don’t expect your grandfather’s Snow White. Meanwhile, “Paul McCarthy: Life Cast” will continue through July 26 at Hauser & Wirth’s 69th St. space, lifelike casts of Elyse Poppers that evoke the 1960s sitcom That Girl, along with life-size casts of a naked McCarthy himself. And on June 20, “Paul McCarthy and Damon McCarthy: Rebel Dabble Babble” moves into the 18th St. gallery, as father and son examine Nicholas Ray’s Rebel Without a Cause as only Paul McCarthy can.