Jane Lombard Gallery presents Squeak Carnwath’s second solo exhibition with the gallery Not All Black and White.
The exhibition features a new series of Carnwath’s paintings made over the course of the Trump administration. As an artist whose career has spanned decades, this current exhibition is raw with intention and deliberate in its statement. Carnwath provokes a call to action in the unsettling climate of current U.S politics.
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Squeak Carnwath born in Abington, Pennsylvania, has lived and worked across the country, settled in the Bay Area in the 1970’s. She brings pockets of her vibrant and complex life to her paintings. Carnwath incorporates meticulously applied layers of oil paint with text and repeated symbolic exploration of human experience. She creates a vocabulary of images, representational and abstract that guide through a narrative across the canvas.. This selection of paintings speaks to her breadth as an artist and thinker.
Carnwath painted the most recent works Go to the Sea, How Many Greens, and Is the Sea Watching were created during a residency at the Ballinglen Arts Foundation, in the small coastal town of Ballycastle, Ireland. The paintings have a poetic richness influenced by the surrounding environment, reflected in the variation of her practice.
Unlock Love and Message in a Bottle from 2018 explore ordinary life, the news, and Carnwath’s hopes and aspiration for the future of America. These paintings were created in dialogue with an earlier series which commented on the frustration and hopelessness after the 2016 election. This new body of work implies a resurgence of belief in the power of the individual to effect change, even in punishing times. This political theme manifests in the 26 piece work Alphabet for a Season of Corruption. Drawing from Donald Trump’s ideologies and rhetoric, Carnwath orchestrates a ridicule of Trump from A-Z.
Carnwath’s paintings require attention and thought; the text is as poignant as the images and deeply informs each work. Recognizable shapes and symbols multiply the biting words on the canvas. A combination of statistical facts, political realizations, and poetic effigies, the quality of language and imagery reminds us to be alert, to be thoughtful, and to respond.
Squeak Carnwath (b. 1947, Abington, PA) lives and works in Oakland, CA. She is the 2019 recipient of the Lee Krasner lifetime achievement award. Carnwath has received the Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art (SECA) Award from San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, two Individual Artist Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Award for Individual Artists from the Flintridge Foundation. Carnwath is Professor Emerita at the University of California, Berkeley.Courtesy of the artist and Jane Lombard Gallery, New York