The exhibition at the Neue Nationalgalerie reveals one of Paul McCarthy´s key works: an oversized wooden box, into which McCarthy has built his entire studio, i.e. the setting for his creativity and the production of his artworks. The installation appears outwardly to be an inconspicuously simple trunk, yet inside a stunning variety of things that reference not only McCarthy himself, but his extensive creations from the beginning of his career to the present as well.
The box with over 3,000 fixed objects from his studio - tables, equipment, tools or boxes - is tilted 90 degrees. Due to the rotation, it becomes an almost surreal spatial experience. This ties into McCarthy's radical performance art and opens up new perspectives on the creative space.
As the single work exhibited in the expansive hall, "The Box" is granted particular significance. The narrowness of the studio - the private space - meets the expansiveness of the surrounding - the public space. At the same time, this artwork relates to the collection housed in the Neue Nationalgalerie, which is exhibited in the basement. Specific points of connection can be found to the cultural assemblage from the 1960's exhibited here (Daniel Spoerris "Snare-picture") or Bruce Nauman's early studio videos ("Bouncing in the Corner"). The view into the studio, a constantly recurring theme by modern artists, is in this version by Paul McCarthy the portrait of an unsparing artist who is willing to reveal everything.