Alicia McCarthy

Born 1969
Hometown Oakland, CA
Lives and Works San Francisco, CA
Education
MFA, University of California, Berkeley, CA, 2005
BFA, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA, 1993

Alicia McCarthy Gallery Art

Jack Hanley Gallery, New York, NY

Alicia McCarthy’s paintings feature complex interactions of form and color, sometimes with text, and typically on paper or found wood. Through her work, McCarthy blends the DIY aesthetics of American punk rock with those of outsider artists and folk artisans. Her 2013 painting Untitled, made with latex and gouache on found wood, hints at elements of landscape—its teal and beige skyline is traversed by two small, intersecting arcs of rainbow—and as a carefully plotted painting, it alludes to the kind of naïve hand and formalist consideration that arose in New Imagist painting in the 1970s. Despite this, McCarthy’s painting remains firmly rooted in the present day, as it also points to contemporary digital imagery, as well as American culture’s newfound appreciation for the handmade and the idiosyncratic.


McCarthy’s work has been shown at the Dallas Museum of Art, the Berkeley Art Center, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. In 2013, her work was included in a major traveling exhibition, which was shown at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Art Institute, and the Grey Art Gallery at New York University. She is the 2013 winner of the Artadia Award and was both a 1995 Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture fellow and a 1999 fellow at the Headlands Center for the Arts residency program.

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