P·P·O·W is pleased to present girlgirlgirl, Grace Carney’s first solo exhibition in New York. Referencing Baroque and Renaissance painting, literature, daily life, and her own body, Carney’s work eschews easy categorization in paintings that hover between abstraction and the suggestion of figurative forms. Reflecting an underlying interest in liminal spaces, her canvases embrace the ambiguity and messiness of the paint itself. Carney notes, “I am interested in the history of the painting…the life of the painting.” Often restricting her palette, Carney begins each work from a place of discomfort or constraint, wrestling with distinct personal narratives, memories, and relationships with bold vulnerability. Within the manifold layers of her densely worked surfaces, Carney confronts the complexity of contemporary existence and the pursuit of self-determination and transformation.
Through a series of new paintings and works on paper, girlgirlgirl explores the power struggles inherent in family dynamics, female friendships, romantic relationships, one’s own body, and the act of painting. Throughout the exhibition, themes of obsession, humiliation, codependency, and the failure of the body play out on an epic scale. With a background in fashion design, Carney brings a deep consideration for texture, color, and bodily expression to her canvases. Drawing inspiration from artists such as Peter Paul Rubens, Grace Hartigan, and Lee Krasner, Carney often describes her paintings as “meaty,” their compositions embodying complex emotional states in which corporal forms emerge and dissolve within energetic passages of paint.
In works such as Tickle Pink, 2023, Carney personifies the emotional space between maternal love and dependency. Both a mother and child, as well as a Pietà, the painting features hot pinks, aquas, and yellows that ebb between luminous and saccharine. Alongside the paintings, Carney will present a selection of new largescale works on paper of contorted and jostling figures who act as battling egos. For Carney, finding truth through a submission to the uncomfortable and the challenging becomes paramount to her practice.
Grace Carney (b. 1992, Minneapolis, MN) received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI, in 2014, and MFA in Painting from the New York Studio School, New York, NY, in 2022. Carney was awarded the Jane C. Carrol Scholarship in 2020-2022 and the Hohenberg Travel Grant in 2022. Her work has been exhibited in I’m Not Your Mother at P·P·O·W, New York, NY, and Three Women: Grace Carney, Jeane Cohen, Abigail Dudley at Steven Harvey Fine Arts Projects, New York, NY. Wrestle, her first solo exhibition in Europe, was on view at Beacon Gallery, Munich, Germany, in the winter of 2022. Carney has recently been featured in Galerie Magazine and W Magazine, among others.