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 the Jack Hanley Gallery, New York in 2021, Alicia McCarthy: No Straight Lines, at Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio, Alicia McCarthy + Ruby Neri at the Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, California, and Snobody at V1 Gallery in Copenhagen. Most recently McCarthy participated in Linear Abstraction at the Barry Whistler Gallery, Dallas, Texas, Terrubly Vulnerable and Terribly Hard, Cooper Cole, Toronto, Canada, and the SECA Art Award Exhibition, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, California.
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 Millennium 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.