April 2, 2020—May 9, 2020 | Reception Thursday, April 2nd, 6-8PM
James Harris Gallery is pleased to present our sixth solo exhibition of work by Squeak Carnwath. This show, titled “Unveiling Territory,” looks back at a crucial period in the artist’s career the 1980s in which Carnwath developed a personal language she continues to use today. The works on view in “Unveiling Territory” reveal the beginnings of a vocabulary that challenges the imagination and nudges our perception of the ordinary world; and how shared human experience shift between artist and viewer, artist and subject and the creative possibilities this collaboration offers. At times bewildering, the subject matters in these early works act as a cipher to our daily lives and intimate emotions. They articulate a feeling of hope, through struggle and pain. Their simplicity invokes the idea that what we share as human beings is more than what set us apart. Carnwath engages in a purposeful naivete, which reveals intelligence and a willingness to allow the viewer into her world and become part of it.
Squeak Carnwath is a painter and printmaker who uses text, color field painting, and a wide variety of recognizable symbols to make interesting, engaging, and relatable works. Her works have the intimate feel of a diary, but acknowledge universal themes that are familiar to every viewer. Her paintings work together to form a kind of visual conversation within the spaces that they are displayed. Carnwath utilizes traditional painting techniques such as trompe l’oeil and symbolism, while also making statements that question the viewer’s thoughts and emotions. Carnwath wants the viewer to make connections between words, objects and shapes; connections that often evoke moments of humor and sadness. Carnwath currently lives and works in Oakland, California.
She has received numerous awards including 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.