Squeak Carnwath (b. 1947) has been fiercely committed to painting for decades. A well-known Bay Area artist, Carnwath often combines layers of words and images, fragments of things she comes across in daily life, in her work. Her paintings are just as much about the process as they are the product, becoming an extension of herself and her search for meaning, and allowing for imperfections and unplanned results.This exhibition focuses on a selection of di Rosa’s holdings of Carnwath’s paintings from the 1980s. In these works, limbless torsos float on darkly rendered backgrounds betwixt lines of text; female figures are featured among a painted collage of imagery. The juxtapositions Carnwath creates seem like brooding versions of motivational posters, calling into question the viewer’s relationship to what is represented, yet are so bold and elegiac that their materiality appears devotional, creating something salient from the familiar.
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This exhibition is part of Collection in Focus, an ongoing series of exhibitions that highlight important and often understudied objects from di Rosa’s permanent collection that would otherwise remain in storage.