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V1 GALLERY PROUDLY PRESENTS
A solo exhibition by Alicia McCarthy
V1 Gallery is honored to present Snobody, Alicia McCarthy’s first solo exhibition in Europe.
Alicia McCarthy’s energetic works weave together color, 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 reappropriated into intimate art objects. Abandoned wood is scouted and repurposed as a foundation. McCarthy applies house paint, colored 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 have 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 Johansson. Named after San Francisco’s Mission District where the artists lived and worked in the 1990s when it still was a pre-gentrified low-rent neighborhood. The group came together around independent music, skateboarding, graffiti, community driven projects, queer politics and zine publishing.
They favored 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 in Oakland) 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 Johansson Projects in Oakland. McCarthy has taken part in several group exhibitions at V1 Gallery, Snobody is her first solo exhibition.Download PDF