Cathy McClure

Selected Exhibitions

Midway exhibition - Moss Bureau

Moss Bureau
May 18 – June 30, 2012

A tour-de-force ‘circus’ performance created by multi-media artist/metalsmith Cathy McClure, comprised of two monumental zeotropic installations, “The Wheel” and “Spinning Jenny”. These illusional carnival rides, constructed of copper, bronze, sterling silver, aluminum, steel, and fabric, are populated with her bronze and silver ‘bots’.

Music, flashing strobe lights, and whirring motors create the illusion – magnified by strong shadows thrown against the walls – of additional frenzied madcap motion, including romping elephants and galloping horses racing to an enchanted and mesmerizing musical fantasy.Cathy McClure’s work is presented in association with EDELMAN ARTS. More

Midway exhibition - Bellevue Arts Museum

Bellevue Arts Museum
May 26, 2011 – January 22, 2012

Music, flashing lights, and whirring motors… toys buzzing about, or lined up like prizes on the wall waiting to be won…. The air is thick with the excitement of the carnival—an enveloping sensual feast of light, sound, and movement. If the primary goal of an artwork is to attract attention, the work of Seattle artist Cathy McClure is a tour de force.

Taking her scissors to anonymous playthings and pop culture icons alike, and stripping them of their identities (and attendant commercial roles), McClure delves into the comedy and tragedy of an increasingly fast-paced automated culture. Here, the long neglected carnivals of yesteryear seamlessly morph into a sleek, efficiently mechanized future world.Midway is an installation caught between eras, and much of its allure and power are vested in its very state of in-betweenness. Although McClure creates a grand illusion through her zoetropic works, she at the same time reveals the workings within, much like another early proponent of the zoetrope concept, Eadweard Muybridge, whose captivating images of horses brought the mechanics of motion to life in the late 19th century. For every revelation, there is yet another ruse, and just as a magician might misdirect our attention to the front of the stage, McClure keeps us balancing between dualities of childhood and adulthood, human and machine, truth and illusion. More

Curiosities exhibit

November – December, 2010

From November through December, 2010, Cathy McClure created her own playful version of Geppetto’s workshop in the Traffic Art Space. Curiosities was the second in a series of “in-process” installations at our 136 East 74th Street store-front. Passers-by watched as McClure created her own endless frenzy, a dystopia inspired by a childhood fascination with travelling carnivals and carnevelesque games that entice children and adults alike. Part performance, part artist-in-residence, the series allowed the public to experience her process as she transformed what may seem as ordinary toys into objects of curiosity.

One can’t help but be delighted by McClure’s work. She is driven by a near-obsession with toys, dolls, robots, and above all, their potential kinetic abilities. Her process involves both destruction and creation, imparting her exotic playthings with a quirky sense of humor steeped in the uncanny. The cacophony that accompanies a McClure installation gives us the eerie sensation that the lunatics have taken over the asylum.

The recipient of the Seattle Art Museum’s 19th Annual Betty Bowen Award, Cathy McClure received her BFA from Texas Technological University and her MFA from the University of Washington. She has exhibited at The Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Milton Hershey School Museum, and the Nassau County Museum of Art. She has been the recipient of residencies, grants, and awards, including Le Quai Fete in Paris, and her work is part of numerous public collections including The Pace Collection in Dallas. A one woman show at the Bellevue Arts Museum in May 2011 will follow McClure’s installation at Traffic Art Space, McClure’s second solo show in New York. Curiosities is presented in Partnership with Edelman Arts.


Menagerie exhibition

October – November, 2007

In the Fall of 2007, Neuhoff Edelman Gallery presented “Menagerie,” an exhibition of work by Cathy McClure. Known for her zoetropic works based on Victorian era two-dimensional toys, McClure created compositions and environments juxtaposing merriment and exhilaration with apprehension and bewilderment. This show presented a body of work in both kinetic sculpture and film, based on discarded toys and was accompanied by a full-color catalogue with an essay by Anthony Haden-Guest.

McClure’s work has always reflected a fascination with a world of childhood whimsy and innocence. She relates the subject matter in both a reductive and enriching manner, stripping a discarded toy to its mechanical skeleton, reborn cast in precious metal. Works in this exhibition showcased the craftsmanship of a skilled metalsmith, and an artist’s eye for poignant social commentary. Haden-Guest observed in his essay “Cathy McClure’s ‘bots no longer inhabit Toonville or Toytown. It is the material that transforms them … and produces something charged with special energies.” McClure explained, “using the plush toy as a metaphor, I create installations and videos highlighting the societal penchant for over-consumption and over-production. The deconstruction of a grossly abundant supply of forgotten toys reveal not only the function of minute inner mechanisms, but also the unseen beauty of design and alternate personas.”

Works included three zoetropes, thirty-four kinetic sculptures cast of sterling silver and bronze, and two video installations highlighting films McClure has made over the past 3 years. Cathy McClure received her BFA from Texas Technological University in 1995 and her MFA from the University ofWashington in 1997. The recipient of the Seattle Art Museum’s 19th Annual Betty Bowen Award, she has exhibited at the MUSA Art Space, Seattle, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Milton Hershey School Museum, and the Henry Art Gallery. She has received residencies, grants, and awards including Le Quai Fete in Paris, and her work is part of several public collections, including The Pace Collection in Dallas.