Donna Seager Gallery
Current Exhibition Exhibition Archives Artists Museum Links The Art Of The Book








Jody Alexander
Rhiannon Alpers
Alicia Bailey
Bay Park Press
Marla Brill
Inge Bruggeman
Squeak Carnwath
Julie Chen
Will Cloughley
Cathy DeForest
Marie Dern
Guy Diehl
Adam Donegan
Daniel Essig
Foolscap Press
Amy Franceschini
Alisa Golden
Granden Press
Art Hazelwood
Caren Heft
Michael Henninger
Helen Hiebert
Charles Hobson
John-Mark Ikeda
Kathryn Kain
Daniel Kelm
Lisa Kokin
Roberta Lavadour
Shanna Leino
Emily Marks
Mary V. Marsh
Emily Martin
Lin Max
Katya McCulloch
Howard Munson
Emily Payne
Nawakum Press
Ninja Press
Jeanmarie Nutt
Sara Press
Lisa Rappoport
Roslyn Ritter
Judith Serebrin
Elizabeth Sher
Brian Singer
Claudia Smelser
Helen Stanley
Erin Sweeney
Nikki Thompson
Richard Wagener
Vita Wells
William T. Wiley


The Art of the Book
Sixth Annual Exhibition of Handmade Books,
Altered Books and Book Related Works

Squeak Carnwath


Carnwath received her Master of Fine Arts degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts in 1977. She taught at the University of California, Davis for 15 years and in 1998 became Professor in Residence in the Department of Art Practice at the University of California, Berkeley where she continues to teach while maintaining a studio in Oakland.  A recipient of a Flintridge Foundation award in 2002, a 1994 fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's 1980 SECA award, her work has been featured in major periodicals, including ARTnews, Artforum, Art in America and the New York Times.  Carnwath’s paintings were the focus of a major exhibition surveying the past 15 years of her career at the Oakland Museum of California in the summer of 2009.   Her work has been the subject of two monographs: Squeak Carnwath: Lists, Observations & Counting published in 1996, and Squeak Carnwath: Painting is No Ordinary Object, published in 2009.  Her works are found in many prestigious collections including the San Francisco Fine Arts Museum, San Francisco MOMA, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York, among others.

Squeak Carnwath, Philosophy, The Art of the Book at Donna Seager Gallery

Philosophy, 2010

Artist's book: double-sided prints, portfolio, leather satchel
portfolio - 12 x 10.5 x 1; prints - 11 x 10 x 0.125 Edition of 20

Inspired by a suggestion from her colleague Jo Whaley, Squeak Carnwath's Philosophy collects some of the artist's most piquant and personal work in a format which takes the reader behind the scenes of her celebrated paintings. Philosophy is an artist's book which doubles as a "facsimile archive," as Carnwath puts it, of the studio artifacts which accumulate as she works on her trademark oil and alkyd canvases. Carnwath refers to these artifacts – the loose sheets bearing notes, drawings, color tests, quotations, and various other bits of information – as "the crazy papers." Working with Donald Farnsworth in late 2009 and early 2010, the artist scanned dozens of the crazy papers, as well as passages from small paintings and from her "studio books" – lined ledgers into which she tapes clippings – combining and rearranging elements from all three sources to compose the 40 images in Philosophy.

While Carnwath still proudly calls painting "the queen of the arts" and drolly suggests that the crazy papers are "the little workers – [they're] the hive, and painting is the queen," Philosophy celebrates these intimate compositions as art objects in their own right. At the same time, the book offers an unprecedented encounter with Carnwath's process, acting as a kind of concordance to the canvases: "The crazy papers," she says, "are the diaries of the paintings. When I'm painting, I think of something, or I talk about a color I want to put down, or what I want to do the next day... They lead me into things I can do in the paintings. Then they kind of marry together so you don't know which came first. "

Philosophy's pages were printed using a flatbed acrylic printer on paper textured with hand-brushed marble dust and gesso; the printed imagery was registered so as to align with the textures with uncanny precision. Carnwath happily describes viewers' astonishment when she reveals that the lined notebook paper is actually made of modeling paste and pigment, and that lines apparently scrawled in pencil are in fact printed in acrylic ink. Farnsworth developed the process with printer Tallulah Terryll: "we've sculpted these pieces," he says, "to be true to Squeak's mark." In a letter to poet John Yau, Farnsworth wrote of the book, "We are moving into strange and dangerous territory – printmaking that may raise some eyebrows... making textures that were, before this, the private playground of painting and sculpture."




Gallery Mailing List