Dan McCarthy

September 19–October 31, 2015


Opening Reception: September 19, 5-8 PM

Venus Over Los Angeles is pleased to present an exhibition of new ceramic sculptures and paintings by Dan McCarthy, on view beginning September 19, 2015.

Representing an exciting evolution upon the artist’s ceramic production of the past few years, the new Facepots on view at Venus Over Los Angeles are the largest McCarthy has created to date, weighing in at over 75 pounds. Beginning with historic examples of vessels, McCarthy quickly moves to a more intimately invested interaction, thoroughly exploring the material and emotional possibilities of wet clay.

The intuitive process in McCarthy’s ceramics is evident within the finished work. Wrestling with massive slabs of wet earthen clay, his rapid technique and composition becomes the work’s subject. Both painted and glazed with gold leaf and low fire lustre, the large facepots radiate a dynamic range of material possibilities, physical existence and emotional depth.

Also on view is a series of new paintings of lightning bolts, clouds and rainbows, whose custom-shaped canvases are akin to homemade surfboards, skateboards, or road signs. Each painting is paired with Haiku-inspired word bubbles that illustrate McCarthy’s California upbringing, with phrases that read “stoned again” and “Huntington Beach”. Layered with scraped oil and spray paint, the immediacy of the paintings is evident, revealing a personalized sense of history with iconic surf-side symbols. Known for his cartoonish, lightly-washed oil and acrylic nudes of men and women with surfboards, skateboards, and guitars, surrounded by rainbows, mountains and other natural elements, McCarthy continues his investigation of the human figure and the human condition with this new body of work.


Dan McCarthy (b. 1962, Honolulu, Hawaii) has exhibited his work internationally and throughout the United States, with recent exhibitions including solo presentations at Anton Kern, New York; Shoot the Lobster, New York; The Journal Gallery, Brooklyn; Galerie Suzanne Tarasiève, Paris; Galerie Gebr.Lehmann, Dresden; Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam and group exhibitions at Invisible Exports, New York; Venus Over Manhattan, New York; Martos Gallery, New York; MoMA PS1, Long Island City. McCarthy holds a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Dan McCarthy will be on view at Venus Over Los Angeles from September 19 – October 31, 2015

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