May 23, 2018 - University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) - Alicia McCarthy and Ruby Neri: MATRIX 270
May 23, 2018

University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA)

Left: Alicia McCarthy, Untitled, 2018. Color pencil and spray paint on paper, 20 x 20 inches. University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. Gift of the artist. Right: Ruby Neri, Two Women, 2018. Ceramic with glaze, 34 x 32 x 22 1/2 inches. Photo: Lee Thompson. Courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles.

 

 

Alicia McCarthy and Ruby Neri
MATRIX 270
May 23–August 26, 2018

University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA)
2155 Center Street
Berkeley, CA 94720
USA

bampfa.org
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The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) is pleased to announce a major joint exhibition of two acclaimed artists associated with San Francisco’s “Mission School” art movement. Alicia McCarthy and Ruby Neri are the latest artists to exhibit in BAMPFA’s MATRIX program, which in 2018 celebrates forty years of introducing Bay Area audiences to exceptional contemporary art. Alicia McCarthy and Ruby Neri / MATRIX 270 presents new work by the artists, who have been friends and collaborators since meeting at the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) in the early 1990s.

Both nationally established artists who maintain strong ties to the Bay Area, McCarthy and Neri began their practices as SFAI undergraduates, where they were closely associated with the burgeoning postpunk scene that coalesced around San Francisco’s Mission District and also included such artists as Barry McGee, Margaret Kilgallen, and others. Following an extended period of creative collaboration in the first half of the 1990s, their practices diverged after Neri relocated to Los Angeles, but they have remained in close creative dialogue ever since. While they typically work in different modes—Neri in figurative sculpture and McCarthy in abstract painting and drawing—they continue to share a range of aesthetic affinities, including an intuitive and process-oriented approach, a saturated palette, and a strong physical relationship to their respective mediums.

For their MATRIX exhibition, McCarthy and Neri have each created new work that advances the formal and aesthetic interests that have shaped their practices. In Neri’s case, these include large-scale sculptures that upend art historical representations of the female nude by exploring the motif in relation to her sculptural ceramic vessels—such as Two Women (2018), which asserts a confrontational sexual frankness that is characteristic of her recent work. McCarthy’s contributions include a new group of square-format paintings that display woven grids, double rainbows, and stacked, colored bars. McCarthy has also created a temporary, site-specific mural for this exhibition.

As the latest artists to participate in the MATRIX program, McCarthy and Neri join a distinguished roster of contemporary artists whose work has been showcased at BAMPFA over the past four decades, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Louise Bourgeois, James Lee Byars, Sophie Calle, Jay DeFeo, Willem de Kooning, Juan Downey, Eva Hesse, Sol LeWitt, Shirin Neshat, Nancy Spero, Cecilia Vicuña, Andy Warhol, and earlier this year, Jay Heikes. In addition to their MATRIX exhibition—the artists’ first joint presentation since 2004—McCarthy and Neri have also collaborated on a unique work on paper in celebration of MATRIX’s fortieth anniversary; the black-and-white drawing, which unites the artists’ figurative and abstract styles, is available as a commemorative poster in the BAMPFA bookstore.

“For nearly 30 years, Alicia McCarthy and Ruby Neri have continually found inspiration and aesthetic experimentation from each other’s work, even as they themselves have become inspirations to a newer generation of West Coast artists,” said the exhibition’s curator Apsara DiQuinzio, curator of modern and contemporary art and Phyllis C. Wattis MATRIX Curator at BAMPFA. “Alicia’s and Ruby’s work is united by a tone of equanimity and curiosity about the relational, in-between moments of life—a fitting spirit in which to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of MATRIX.”

In conjunction with the opening of Alicia McCarthy and Ruby Neri / MATRIX 270, the pair present a lecture at BAMPFA on Wednesday, May 23 at 6pm. The event is free with museum admission.

Support
Alicia McCarthy and Ruby Neri / MATRIX 270
 is organized by Apsara DiQuinzio, curator of modern and contemporary art and Phyllis C. Wattis MATRIX Curator, with Valerie Moon, curatorial assistant. The MATRIX Program is made possible with a generous endowment gift from Phyllis C. Wattis and the continued support of the BAMPFA Trustees. Additional support is provided by Hotel Shattuck Plaza.

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