About the Photographer
American, b. 1971
In Paula McCartney’s series "Bird Watching," densely wooded landscapes are enlivened, ironically, by brightly colored craft store songbirds. While the deceit is more obvious in some pictures than others, these faux fowl punctuate their environments both as formal elements—carefully arranged amid the arc and curve of brush and branches—and as a curious construction that offers an idealized vision of nature undercut by a gentle satire of that ideal. Expected to be a two-year project, McCartney began the Bird Watching series in 2003, and released a book with the same title, co-published by Princeton Architectural Press and the MoCP, in 2010.
Paula McCartney completed a Certificate in Photography from the International Center of Photography, New York (1996), a BFA from Empire State College, New York (1998), and an MFA from San Francisco Art Institute (2002). She is the recipient of a 2007 and 2013 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Photographers, a 2005 Women’s Studio Workshop Artists’ Book Production Grant and a 2004 Aaron Siskind Foundation Individual Photographer’s Fellowship Grant. Recent solo exhibitions include Bird Watching at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana and A Field Guide to Snow and Ice at Kopeikin Gallery, Los Angeles, California. Her work is also held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC; and Minneapolis Institute of Arts, MN, among others.