Unheeding: Liz McCarthy (MFA '17) at Goldfinch
January 9 – February 20, 2021
Text by Elizabeth Lalley: In Gallery II, Goldfinch is pleased to present “Unheeding,” an exhibition of new ceramic sculptures by Liz McCarthy.
Reminiscent of dancers and experimental movement, McCarthy’s humanoid forms examine questions of wholes and parts, as they relate to the mind and body. Through the medium of clay, where chance is inextricably linked to process, McCarthy draws on materiality, decorative arts, and performance to expose a false dichotomy between heads and bodies, in which logic of the head (or mind) is historically privileged.
For this exhibition, McCarthy enacts a sort of “decapitation”—literally and metaphorically—presenting a series of ceramic heads, with exaggerated features, apart from their corresponding bodies. The remaining figures, bearing holes and sinewy limbs, remain highly animated, as though frozen in wild gestures. In a culture dominated by “talking heads,” McCarthy embraces unfinished thoughts and a degree of unconsciousness, her sculptures nudging us toward an awareness of our own thinking bodies, where understanding of both environment and self is deeply sensual and embodied.