Lynn McCarty was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1961. She received a B.F.A. from the Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio and an M.F.A. from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn.
McCarty’s paintings range in scale from 12x12 inches to 60x60 inches. In each format-always square-large and small the artist explores the dialogue of forms within the parameters of the panel with command and grace. Some paintings are edgy containing amoeboid-like shapes quivering in a pool of limpid color, while others are radiant appearing to emanate light from within, and finally some works have the merest suggestion of form, a whisper by the artist of shapes, a conversation between figure and ground.
McCarty is more interested in “forming a form” than in describing a form. Often the forms seem sculptural, always they are physical, palpating with a sense of human presence. Not miniature by any stretch of the imagination, the small panels command large space. With scale as with color, McCarty encourages us to reconsider our perceptions. Though these aluminum panels of unique framework and structure are clearly paintings, they float object-like on the wall.
McCarty’s commitment to the physical aspect of form is echoed by her interest in exploring what she calls “really simple things” such as edges, color, line, shape along with form. In the organization of this coda for painting McCarty finds beauty, challenge, harmony, while never eschewing the opportunity for awkwardness or acidity, eager for a range of visual impact. For the artist color is the primary “subject” of the painting filled with the artist’s personality, her moods, her ups and downs, her swings of life. Her palette is broad and individualistic ranging from colors connected to the earth evoking sensations of shifts in weather over mountain and desert to ethereal color juxtapositions of pure light, white next to pale yellow next to a dollop of fuchsia-nothing more, a full haiku in oil.
Unique too is McCarty’s technique or process. The artist builds a skin of paint on the aluminum surface using anything but brushes to pour the paint such as eye droppers, basters, towels, squeegees, her hand. Not a fan of brushstrokes she is interested in liquidity, in building elusive, sensual surfaces varying in nature. Sometimes she sands between layers of paint to create a smooth surface, at other times she uses an eye dropper to create a star-like pattern or bird-like tracking across the surface plane. Liquin figures into her technique, enabling McCarty to thin her paint sufficiently to pour it across the aluminum panel. Developing this process which is truly her own has provided the artist with a repertoire of technical options and know-how to wield her way through and across the painting’s surface.