Here is something I wrote a couple days ago looking back at Central Symmetrical Rotation Movement:
Paul McCarthy may be an odd choice as an example for what’s ideal, as his work is often centered around the not ideal, and in many instances explores the shockingly corporeal. But last year I was lucky to catch the tail end of Central Symmetrical Rotation Movement at the Whitney, and saw how his work captivated and utterly transformed the dynamics of a gallery space. The exhibition was built around three installations (two of which were made specifically for the show, but based on unrealized proposals McCarthy made in the 1970s), and perhaps because these plans came from earlier in his career, we see the artist’s ideas less entrenched in the shtick of being Paul McCarthy (in his defense, the work still centers around spectacle and neurosis, with architecture here being a stand in for the human body, so it’s still classic McCarthy). Aggressive and disorienting, McCarthy’s is a violent and disruptive architecture, one that displaces us as viewers, and one that shows how art can transfix and demand presence.