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Caroline McCarthy, b.1971

The Luncheon2002

‘The Luncheon’ is a large-scale photowork of a sculpture made from toilet tissue carefully moistened to intensify the colour. The still life arrangement of fruits and vegetables, eminently consumable but inedible, is a witty pastiche of a typical Dutch ‘Old Master’ painting, except that this time the artist is a woman and the material used is one that the academic tradition is unlikely to endorse. McCarthy stated in 2003: ‘Colour has no relation to the function of toilet-paper. It’s a tasteful consideration. As the ideas of abundance, excess, desire and consumption have historically been intrinsic to still-life painting, the similar associations of today’s toilet-papers enable it, as material-of-choice, to slip naturally into the traditional still-life mould’.
‘The Luncheon’ was the winner of the Allied Irish Bank (AIB) Award for 2001 and was donated to the Irish Museum of Modern Art by AIB in 2002.

MediumPhotograph of wet toilet paper sculpture (Sculpture: toilet paper of varying colour, water, black bin-bags, real stalks, fake flies, disposable tableware)
Dimensions196 x 114 cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Donated by A.I.B., 2002
Item NumberIMMA.1503
Not on view
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Image Caption
Caroline McCarthy, The Luncheon, 2002, Photograph of wet toilet paper sculpture (Sculpture: toilet paper of varying colour, water, black bin-bags, real stalks, fake flies, disposable tableware), 196 x 114 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Donated by A.I.B., 2002

For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: info@imma.ie.

About the Artist

Caroline McCarthy b.1971

Irish artist Caroline McCarthy studied at the National College of Art and Design and Goldsmith’s College, London. Her works in video, sculpture, photography and installation, make witty observations about the nature of consumerism and representation while also engaging with historical notions of art and the artist. McCarthy has exhibited nationally and internationally since the 1990s. She has undertaken artist residencies in China, Iceland, France, the Netherlands and at IMMA in 1997. — View Artist »