To Hear and Be Heard
Squeak Carnwath draws upon the philosophical and mundane experiences of daily life in her paintings and prints, which can be identified by lush fields of color combined with text, patterns, and identifiable images. She has received numerous awards including the Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art (SECA) Award from San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, two Individual Artist Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Award for Individual Artists from the Flintridge Foundation, and the Lee Krasner Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. In 2019, she was inducted into the National Academy of Design and Art. Carnwath is Professor Emerita at the University of California, Berkeley. She lives and works in Oakland, CA.
In this time of COVID19, our days have become monotonous and sometimes isolated. We share a collective yearning to be out with people and be together without the fear and problems of the pandemic. In AGAIN, Squeak Carnwath asks “Will We ever Be All Together AGAIN, Close”. Above this question, we see handprints, our most unique human signature, which has marked our presence since the earliest times. AGAIN makes us consider this ancient, basic need to be together, to be known and leave evidence, I am here.
AGAIN also makes us consider being together again in ways that transcend the physical. Current events have awakened us to the extent of our isolation and division. The different shades of paint for the hands, speak to the diversity of our physical characteristics, and conceptually to our differences in political and religious views, education and socioeconomic groups.
While we might have thought we were “together” in the past, perhaps we now realize we really weren’t as close as we hoped. There is much work to be done to unite us – to truly be all together again, close. AGAIN, in this sense, seems more like an earnest wish; our dream for the future. The hands on the canvas, banging and pounding to be let free, to go out and make this dream a reality.