SHELTERS SHACKS AND SHANTIES Galerie Esther Donatz Sep-Oct 2014

Dear Volcanoe, by Anna McCarthy  

All we need now is Huckleberry Finn,“ reads a drawing by Anna McCarthy in her current exhibition at Esther Donatz Gallery. The call of nature – associated with adventure, freedom and romanticism – never seemed more appealing than today. Is the luxury of a comfortable life, as one of the benefits of Industrialization, a precondition to get back to basics? Is the newly sparked desire for authenticity a cautious attempt to break free from a civilized existence? Whether it manifests a rejection of capitalist values and therefore a little form of rebellion remains to be seen. In either case, nature has increasingly become a place of quest for meaning and well-being in the 21st century. This may result in ecological lifestyles, balanced diets and outdoor activities or culminate in complete self-surrender following the principle “survival of the fittest”, as it is simulated in numerous TV survival shows. But what happens if nature revolts and does not turn out to be human’s best friend? How do we react to volcanic eruptions, Ebola and other catastrophes? Can we rely on our instincts?
Anna McCarthy explores this range of topics in her exhibition SHELTERS, SHACKS, AND SHANTIES, named after a guide for young boy scouts from 1914 by Daniel Carter Beard. The artist thereby examines human behavior in the context of a promising, but also irrepressible and violent nature. From spiritual movements to apocalyptic prophecies, this dynamic constellation reveals various tendencies which Anna McCarthy reflects in paintings, drawings, texts, video and object works. Often, seriousness and absurdity are closely related to each other. As one of Anna McCarthy’s protagonists realizes: “This reality bites.” 

Animal Pregnancy, Ink on Paper, 2012

Detail Earthwire II, Mixed media, 2014

Installation view, Earthwire I & II & Godess of Nature and Cheap Products

Keep calm in case of shutdown, Emulsion and Acrylic on canvas board, 2014

Goddess of Nature and Cheap Products, 2014

Install Fake Palms & Godess of Nature and Cheap Products & Paperclip/Safety Pin Trick

Reit Im Winkl, Ink on Paper, 40x40cm, 2014

Detail Earthwire I, Mixed media, 2014

anna mccarthy



Which is Witch, Scully in a Shitstorm, Emulsion on Canvas, 80x60cm, 2014

Which is Witch, Scully leaning up against tree, Emulsion on Canvas, 80x60cm, 2014



Naked and Afraid, Emulsion and Acrylic on Paper, 2014