Disassembling discarded toys and then re-casting their limbs and armatures in the most archetypical fine art medium, bronze, and a more 'precious' medium, sterling silver, I then engage in a Frankensteinian re-assembly of the new 'parts'. This involves re-fittings and manipulations as well as re-installation of original circuit boards, batteries, gears, and voice boxes.
The resulting reincarnations through metamorphosis have aged, even wizened. Their now-hollow voices and awkward, geriatric movements-the result of their evolved, hardened and precious new bronze and sterling armatures-remove them from the toy chest where they were raised and catapult them into the adult environments of salon, library, museum. Now, part historical/figural sculpture, part archaeological artifact, they become each a Trojan Horse, the cavity filled with a Pandora’s Box of memories.
Cathy McClure is an American sculptor and multi-media artist. She is primarily known for creating intricate mechanical pieces out of sterling silver and bronze; however, McClure has always been attracted to multiple disciplines, and often includes multimedia components such as music, strobes and video in her often-kinetic work.
A constant presence in McClure’s artwork has been her preoccupation with mechanical toys and the discrepancy between the public’s perception of an imagined techno-future and the future that we now inhabit. She lives and works in Seattle, Washington, and New York City.
Early life and education
McClure was born in Abilene, Texas, at the Dyess Air Force base. Shortly thereafter, her mother returned with her to Arkansas where she was raised. Later, she returned to Texas, settling in Dallas and Lubbock.
She received her BFA from Texas Tech University in 1995 then moved to Seattle to attend the University of Washington, where she received her MFA in 1997. Also in 1997, she was selected from a pool of 426 applicants as the recipient of the Seattle Art Museum’s 19th Annual Betty Bowen Memorial Award.
McClure has received residencies, grants, and awards including Le Quai Fete in Paris, and an Artist Trust Fellowship. Her work is shown in several public and private collections, including The Pace Collection in Dallas, the White House Permanent Collection and the Bard College Permanent Collection in New York. She has had solo shows at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the Bellevue Arts Museum. She has exhibited widely, including the Henry Art Gallery, the Milton Hershey School Museum, and Art Miami Basel. She is currently represented by Edelman Arts and Moss in New York, New York.
As a multi-media artist with a strong background in metal design, I am seduced by the limitless potential of sterling silver, copper, bronze, and steel. My enthusiasm for the techniques and traditions of metalwork is rivaled only by a wild preoccupation with engineering, mechanical toys and the discrepancy between the public's perception of an imagined techno-future and that future that we now inhabit.
My latest body of work involves deconstruction and reinvention. Hands wielding scissors, I massacre discarded motor-driven robotic plush toys, eviscerating them through a Geppetto-like taxidermy until I get down into the guts of the piece. Skinning my "Bots" to the bone, all that remains are their various articulated plastic limbs and bodily armature, which contains the preserved mechanisms that gave these once-cuddly Elmos and elephants and Mickeys and roosters their life-like movement and sound.
1997 MFA University of Washington, Seattle WA
1995 BFA Texas Tech University, Cum Laude, Lubbock, TX
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2017 Dispossessed, Center of Contemporary Art, Seattle, WA
2015 The Art of Play, Sidney Museum, Port Orchard, WA
2014 Revisionism, Method Gallery, Seattle, WA
2013 MICKEY HARDWIRED, Moss Bureau, New York, NY
2012 Midway, Moss Bureau, New York, NY
2012 Midway, Edelman Arts, New York, NY
2011 Midway, Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, WA
2010 Curiosities, Traffic Art Space, New York, NY
2009 Menagerie, Nassau County Museum, Roslyn Harbor, NY
2009 Remains, Moss Gallery, New York, NY
2007 Menagerie, Neuhoff/Edelman Gallery, New York, NY
2005 A Raucous Look at the Persistence of Vision, MUSA, Seattle, WA
2003 Meet George Jetson, Bumbershoot Music and Arts festival, Seattle, WA
2001 Here I Am, Entertain Me! Commencement Art Gallery, Tacoma, WA
2001 First Light, Performance, Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, WA
1999 Team works, New Kinetic Sculpture, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
1999 Le Quai Fete, Quai de la Gare, Paris, FR
1998 Carnival of Life, Meyerson & Nowinski, Seattle, WA
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2017-2018 2017 Dorothy Saxe Invitational, Sabbath, Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco, CA
2017 Kinetic Art Explosion, Open Space, Vashon, WA
2016 The Future is Now, Gallery One, Ellensburg, WA
2016 Electrique, The Hollows, Williamsburg, NY
2016 Giant Steps Exhibition, King Street Station, Seattle, WA
2014 Pulse NY, Freight + Volume, New York, NY.
2013 Art Southampton, Edelman Arts, Hamptons, NY
2012 MOSS: Dialogues Between Art & Design, Phillips de Pury & Company, New York, NY
2012 St. Sebastian, Art Miami-Edelman Arts, Miami, FL
2011 St. Sebastian, Edelman Arts, New York, NY
2011 Arthur, Moss, New York, NY
2011 Under a Full Moon, Moss, New York, NY
2010 Art Miami, Edelman Arts, Miami, FL
2010 Holiday 2010, Moss, New York, NY
2009 Poncho Invitational, Western Bridge, Seattle, WA
2009 Art Miami, Moss, Miami, FL
2008 The Toy Show, Hans Weiss Newspace Gallery, Manchester, CT
Flock, T.s. Art in Focus: Cathy McClure's "State of the Union" at COCA, January 4, 2018.
Roth, Cambria. Is There Still Room for Artists In Seattle, Crosscut, January 13, 2016.
Smith, Bob. Child's Play: A New Metallic Look for Kid Toys at Sidney Gallery, June 4, 2015.
Frohne, Lauren. 'Robotic Art Reveals Beauty Beneath Toys', Seattle Times, December 5, 2014.
Smith, LaVendrick. 'How Seattle Artist Cathy McClure Makes Metal Art', Seattle Times, December 5, 2014.
Hutson, Lara. Studio Visit: Cathy McClure, Nashville Scene, March 23, 2013.
Vargas, Tony. Hamptons Main Street, July 27, 2013.
Zara, Janelle. Design Sage Murray Moss on the Unconventional Wisdom Fueling His Phillips Auction, Blouin Art Info, October 21, 2012.
Zara, Janelle. "When You Interrupt Us, You Have to Deal With Us" Blouin Art Info, May 22, 2012.
Wilson, Elizabeth. 'St. Sebastian 1530-2011' at Edelman Arts, Art News, April, 2012.
Clemans, Gayle. Michael Cooper's retrospective, Cathy McClure's 'Midway' at BAM, The Seattle Times, July 28, 2011
Miller, Brian. Cathy McClure, Seattle Weekly, 2011
Metcalf, Bruce. Remains:Cathy McClure, Metalsmith Magazine, Vol. 30, No. 3, Page 55. 2010
Vilades, Pilar. Now Showing / Stuffed Animals, Cuddly No More, New York Times, November 18, 2009
Payne, Patti , Puget Sound Buisiness Journal, Page 21, October 9-15, 2009.
Sanchez, Marisa. Betty Bowen Award Thirty Years, catalog, Pages 48-49, 2009
Kobasa, Stephen Vincent. Playing For Real – Reconsidering childhood things, Hartford Advocate, February 28, 2008
Baker, R.C. Best In Show – Cathy McClure Menagerie, Village Voice, November 20, 2007
Haden-Guest, Anthony. Fairs please: the affordable art bus is always on time, Financial Times, January 6/7, 2007
Haden-Guest, Anthony. Cathy McClure – Menagerie, solo show catalog, 2007
CCS Bard Permanent Collection, Annondale-on-Hudson, NY
Josh Rechnitz, New York, NY.
The Pace Collection, Dallas, TX
Barbara and Donald Tober, New York, NY
Guy and Nora Barron, West Bloomfield, MI
Asher and Michelle Edelman, New York, NY
Carol Marlow and Jim Young, Seattle, WA
White House, Blue Room, permanent collection, Washington, DC
2018 Artist In Residence – Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, WA
2017-2021 Lead Planning Artist, Washington State Convention Center Addition, Seattle, WA
2015-2018 Public Artist Roster – Washington State Arts Commission
2014 Artist Trust Fellowship, Seattle, WA
2012-2015 Public Artist Roster – Washington State Arts Commission
2009 Merit Award, Poncho, 2009 Invitational, Seattle, WA
2000 Best in Show, Pacific Northwest Annual, Bellevue Art Museum, WA
2000 People’s Choice Award, Pacific Northwest Annual, Bellevue Art Museum, WA
1999 Quai de La Gare, Residency recipient, Paris, France
1997 Betty Bowen Memorial Award, Grand prize, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA
STOP THE PRESSES!
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