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SQUEAK CARNWATH : HUMALONG&DANCE

PRESS RELEASE

Tayloe Piggott Gallery is thrilled to announce a forthcoming exhibition of work by acclaimed American artist Squeak Carnwath (b. 1947). The exhibition, HUMALONG&DANCE, will be open to the public December 16 – January 28. An opening reception is scheduled for Friday, December 16 from 6 – 8pm.

SQUEAK CARNWATH: HUMALONG&DANCE

Squeak Carnwath has always strived for her work to be experienced like a pop song – one that worms its way into the viewer’s head, making it impossible to forget. Carnwath’s lastest body of work, HUMALONG&DANCE, plays on this theme quite literally by pairing a series of paintings with iPods loaded with curated playlists. The result is an experience that wriggles its way into your consciousness so much so that it becomes an experience all your own.

In this body of work, the intensely personal becomes surprisingly universal. In Carnwath’s view, the artist must always reveal herself and never hide an emotional truth. This is especially true of HUMALONG&DANCE, in which she paints individual song titles on vibrant blocks of color. The words in these titles jostle for the viewer’s attention and jump off the canvas, evoking the very songs they represent. It is through this specificity, this naked display of a personal experience, that the viewer is able to appropriate it and make it their own.

While the titles themselves were painted by Carnwath, the image that is left belongs to the viewer alone. Carnwath builds on this personal relationship by pairing a handful of paintings with iPod Shuffles. There is something about being invited to listen the  playlist of another that feels intimate, almost illicit. The songs, which range widely in both era and genre, bounce the viewer around in time and place, inviting introspection and reverie.     

The experience of these paintings as visual diaries feels painfully contemporary and reflective of our time. Through this body of work, we are at once connected and disconnected. In the past, as well as the present. We see the artist’s individual hand in the brush strokes on the thick paint and we hear her favorite songs in our ears, but we do this alone, with headphones on and our own individual memories rattling around our brain. It is an experience that, much like a pop song, is difficult to shake. And while our thoughts may be joyful or sad, we can’t help but experience Carnwath’s work and want to HUMALONG&DANCE.