in New York, NY / United States
29.04.2022 - 18.06.2022 00:00
Squeak Carnwath - Pattern Language

Jane Lombard Gallery is pleased to present “Pattern Language”, an exhibition of new paintings by Squeak Carnwath. The artist’s third solo exhibition with the gallery, “Pattern Language” presents the viewer with intricate visual archives that entangle public observation and private introspection.

Pattern recognition is an essential part of the human experience. We pull from memory to make sense of the world around us. Recognizable patterns allow us to understand common rhythms between people, places and cultures, understanding the new through the familiar by assigning identity and meaning.

As an artist, Carnwath paints her own thoughts and observations, often connected to politics and personal narratives, knowing others will create their own recognitions within her compositions. She likens her patterns and symbols to messages scrawled on the wall of a public bathroom, a space that is intimate and yet open for everyone. Through painting of easily recognized symbols she allows the viewer to imbue her work with their own sense of familiarity. For instance, a wire hanger might bring to mind abortion rights, or Joan Crawford in “Mommie Dearest”. Eyes may prompt a sense of investigation, understanding, attendance, comprehension or voyeurism. Outlines of hands and gestures tie the work to the body and the act of making, while inviting the viewer to examine the visual narratives closely.

“Thoughts are evidence of existence,” Carnwath says, “we all have them.” Anonymous messages have a tendency to touch people in unexpected ways, and this connection generates universal understanding. Art is about generosity, giving something of yourself, making the work accessible so that participants can have an experience that is theirs alone. “Pattern Language” trusts viewers to draw their own meaning from what they see.

Squeak Carnwath (b. 1947, Abington, PA) is a painter who lives and works in Oakland, CA. An artist whose career has spanned five decades, Carnwath has cultivated a distinctive blend of disparate 1970s art movements, including New Image painting, Conceptual Art and Process Art. Her paintings speak several languages at once. Areas of flat color are adrift with abstract and representational elements as well as writing — passing thoughts, the news, quips — often partly submerged in the shuffle of erasures and new additions. Despite a loose, improvisational appearance, there are secret moments of trompe l’oeil: pencil writing and charcoal scribbles are rendered in paint. Carnwath’s idea of process is all-inclusive: it combines the physical making of the painting with her thoughts, the world at large and also life in the studio.

The artist has received numerous awards including a Lee Krasner Lifetime Achievement Award, 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 and the Award for Individual Artists from the Flintridge Foundation. Her work is included in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, among others. Carnwath is Professor Emerita at the University of California, Berkeley. She is a founding member and current president of the Artists’ Legacy Foundation.

Gallery hours Tue-Fri 10 am – 6 pm, Sat 11 am – 6 pm

Exhibition Duration 29 April – 04 June 2022


Jane Lombard Gallery
58 White Street
10013 New York, NY
United States


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