McCarthy’s abstract compositions combine complex details and patterns with raw painterly gestures. In her signature elements of weaves, twisted knots and intertwined arcs, rainbows and bands of color, her drawings and paintings lure the eye into a dense maze of lines in which it is easy to get lost the closer you look. Remnants of paint drips and splashes, smears, pencil tests and traces of spray paint reveal the surfaces’ pasts, often accompanying McCarthy in her studio for long periods of time. This immediacy bares an intimacy between artist and object and carries the artist’s own physicality into each work.
In tracing the lines, her distinct handmade quality is palpable throughout a variety of media including pencil, graphite, latex - or spray paint. Surfaces ranging from construction paper, over found wood to panels. Both the exploration of media and the use of paint as well as the compositions themselves, balance chance and control, order and chaos, and choose imperfections over sleekness.