MINE: New Etchings by McArthur Binion and Alicia McCarthy

By Rhea Fontaine

The exhibition Mine brings together new works by McArthur Binion and Alicia McCarthy. Re:Mine is the title of a print by Binion as well as the title of the first monograph of his work. Both Binion and McCarthy bring their very personal and emotional content to the minimalist grid.

Binion often makes his marks with a monotonous, task-based approach that speaks to his personal history of manual labor in the cotton fields of the South. He also explores this history by using personal ephemera, images of his birth certificate, a handwritten phonebook, and photos on which he paints. Over the past 50 years, he has developed a unique visual language through the fusion of minimalism and narrative: Binion calls this his “handmade geometry.”

Although visually abstract, Alicia McCarthy’s works are intensely intimate and often include an indication of physical presence. The art critic Roberta Smith writes that McCarthy’s woven paintings “combine handmade quirkiness and a personal, slightly visionary geometry with an echoing perceptual subtlety.” Her graffiti sensibilities—her need to tag or mark a space as her own—appear in her work in the form of a ring left by a coffee cup, a shoe print, or a note written by the artist. In her project at Paulson Fontaine Press, McCarthy used old ink mixes from past projects, bringing a specificity of time and place into her etchings. McCarthy’s print Z.P.R.R.A.Y uses the first initials of the entire staff at Paulson Fontaine Press and becomes another memento of a shared experience.