The exhibition features a new series of Carnwath’s paintings and works on paper. As an artist whose career has spanned decades, Not All Black and White is raw with intention and deliberate in its statement. Carnwath provokes a call to action in the unsettling climate of current U.S. politics.
Carnwath meticulously applies layers of oil paint with text and repeated symbolic exploration of human experience. Her vocabulary of images, both representational and abstract, creates a narrative that offers a glimpse into her vibrant and complex life. These paintings speak to her breadth as an artist and thinker.
She painted the most recent works Go to the Sea, How Many Greens, and Is the Sea Watching during a residency at the Ballinglen Arts Foundation, in the small coastal town of Ballycastle, Ireland. The paintings have a poetic richness influenced by the surrounding environment, reflected in the variation of her practice.
Unlock Love and Message in a Bottle from 2018 explore ordinary life, the news, and Carnwath’s hopes and aspirations for the future of America. These paintings were created in dialogue with an earlier series, commenting on the frustration and hopelessness after the 2016 election. This new body of work implies a resurgence of belief in the power of the individual to effect change, even in punishing times. This political theme manifests in the 26 piece work Alphabet for a Season of Corruption. Drawing from Donald Trump’s ideologies and rhetoric, Carnwath orchestrates a satire of Trump from A-Z.
Carnwath's paintings require attention and thought; the text is as poignant as the images and deeply informs each work. Recognizable shapes and symbols amplify the biting words on the canvas. A combination of statistical facts, political realizations, and poetic effigies, the quality of language and imagery reminds us to be alert and responsive.