Alicia McCarthy (b. 1969, lives and works in Oakland, California) engages with the immediate world around her and uses a decidedly focused color palette on mixed-media panels. Sincere and intense but also playful, McCarthy transforms found wood surfaces into bursts, geometric blocks of color and woven patterns that are often emphasized by text and spray paint. These “paintings” bear a sculptural weight that is juxtaposed by their deceptively simple mark and image making. Although visually abstract, McCarthy's motifs - a weave or rainbow, for instance - are deeply personal and the works often include an indication of physical presence, such as the ring left by a coffee cup, print from a boot or a note written by the artist.
McCarthy has worked with Jack Hanley Gallery for over 15 years and recent solo and two-person exhibitions include Alicia McCarthy at Jack Hanley Gallery, New York in 2015, Snobody at V1 Gallery in Copenhagen and Alicia McCarthy + Jenny Sharaf at Johansson Projects in Oakland. Most recently McCarthy participated in Major Work, curated by Andrew Schoultz at Chandran Gallery, San Francisco, and has also recently participated in Patterned Chaos at Cinders, New York, Off the Grid, curated by Susette Min at EN EM Art Space, Sacramento, Fertile Ground: Art and Community in California at The Oakland Museum of California Art and Pierogi X X: Twentieth Anniversary Exhibition at Pierogi in New York. In 2013, McCarthy exhibited in Energy That Is All Around: Mission School with Chris Johanson, Margaret Kilgallen, Alicia McCarthy, Barry McGee, Ruby Neri at the Walter and McBean Galleries, San Francisco Art Institute and the Grey Art Gallery, New York University.
McCarthy received a BFA from San Francisco Art Institute in 1994 and an MFA from the University of California at Berkeley in 2007. McCarthy has exhibited across America and internationally. Most recently, she had solo exhibitions at the Wexner Center for the Arts, OH, at SFMoMA as part of the SECA Award show and a two person show at the Berkeley Art Museum. McCarthy has received numerous accolades and residencies, most notably from Skowhegan School of Painting and Scukpture, Maine, Headland Arts Center and New Langton Art, San Francisco.
Public collections with works by the artist include: MIMA the Millenium Iconoclast Museum of Art in Brussels, American Academy of Arts & Letters in New York City, Facebook Headquarters in Menlo Park, CA and Oakland Museum of California.