A solo exhibition by Alicia McCarthy

Also featuring work by: Francesco Igory Deiana, Kellen Chasuk, Bryon Christman, Musae Sesay, Nathan Harris, Piper Lewine, Pablo de Pinho, Olivia Krause, Jeffrey Cheung, Oliver Hawk Holden, Samara Halperin, Alexis Yonan, Kyla Quinn McCarthy-Smith, ORFN / Aaron Curry, Linton, Paige Valentine, Fran Smith, MSA & IVY Jean McLellan


Alicia McCarthy’s energetic works weave together colour, pattern and occasional lyrical or understatedly profound phrases. The artist is drawn to the discarded. Digesting the city’s landscape, ambivalent everyday items sheared from their original intent are appropriated into intimate art objects. Abandoned wood is scouted and repurposed as a foundation. McCarthy applies house paint, coloured pencil, liquid graphite and spray paint transforming recycled materials into art objects with a folk, DIY and punk aesthetic. Most of the new works combine various abstract gestures while maintaining a very physical presence. They are subtle, radiant, complex and emanate an immediate and honest energy.

Alicia McCarthy is one of the core figures of what is now known as “The Mission School” together with Barry McGee, Margaret Kilgallen, Ruby Neri and Chris Johanson. Named after San Francisco’s Mission District where the artists lived and worked in the 1990s when it was still a pre-gentrified low-rent neighbourhood. The group came together around independent music, skateboarding, graffiti, community driven projects, queer politics and zine publishing.
They favoured found materials to paint and draw on and turning them into sculptures and installations. Influenced by their rough urban surroundings, the natural beauty that encapsulates San Francisco and their mutual interests, they started making art that carried a myriad of sentiments, simultaneously upbeat and downbeat, abstract and figurative, harsh, humorously tender, repetitive, old fashioned and avant-garde.
The group never worked as a collective and never sought out a collective identity, but their aesthetics and attitude gained popularity in San Francisco and spread, influencing and inspiring creators around the world. The group became part of the seminal traveling exhibition Beautiful Losers (curated by Aaron Rose and Christian Strike), now also a documentary of the same title.

Alicia McCarthy, born 1969, lives and works in Oakland. She received her BFA from San Francisco Art Institute in 1994 (MFA from University of California 2005). In 2013 at the same institute, a large group exhibition titled Energy That Is All Around: Mission School, curated by Natasha Boas, would survey the work of McCarthy and her colleagues. Other recent exhibitions include White Columns, New York, Grey Art Gallery, New York University, Jack Hanley, New York, and Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley. McCarthy has taken part in several group exhibitions at V1 Gallery, this is her second solo exhibition with the gallery.

We look forward to seeing you.