Monday, October 5, 2015

New York Dispatch: Alicia McCarthy at Jack Hanley Gallery

 The work of Alicia McCarthy, (currently on view at Jack Hanley Gallery until October 11th), likes to challenge the viewer. Passive viewing is not possible, because the image and surface are connected  Based in Oakland, McCarthy's paintings want to draw attention to both the material and the image that her paintings portray.

There are the rainbows that occupy the canvas, and multi-colored hues and shapes that indicate a structure. However, nothing is ordered or straight to indicate a system. Instead McCarthy presents to the viewer a sense of chaos or entropy that is for the active viewer. Rainbows appears to have political connotations that reference to the LGBT community. However, in other works, McCarthy places colorful shapes that can switch between a cityscape and a Bauhaus tapestry. In another painting, McCarthy crisscrosses lines of color. The lines curve and sway on the canvas, giving the viewer almost a psychedelic feel as it almost moves on the canvas; there is a kinetic energy that wraps the viewer in the composition.

Stylistically McCarthy employs a street art approach to the paint. The spray paint on the canvas is rough, but there is a sophistication to McCarthy that is almost a controlled chaos. There are personal references such as coffee stain rings, house paints, and abandoned wood. These imperfections are what create the tension between chaos and order. The embrace of both chaos and order simultaneously in Alicia McCarthy's work is what makes her solo show so enjoyable. She keeps the viewer on the edge.

 on view through October 11, 2015

Jack Hanley Gallery
327 Broome StreetNew York, NY 10002Telephone: +1 (646) 918 6824
Wednesday – Sunday, 11am – 6pm and by Appointment

No comments:

(Photo Essay) Frieze Los Angeles 2020, Paramount Studios, Hollywood, California

Frieze Los Angeles ushered in its second edition as part of an expanded Frieze Week that celebrated Los Angeles’ art community at Par...