Alicia McCarthy is entirely her own artist. She needs no introduction because the way she improvises is about a weaving of lines and chance and a history of letting the marks guide the painting. Colors interlock and drips combine, and there is roughness that comes from graffiti but also an awareness that a studio practice can lead to beautiful mistakes and organic, intuitive patterns. Her newest solo show at V1 Gallery in Copenhagen is about that rawness and beauty, where you can almost see the dance of chance playing out in each piece.

One of the hallmarks of McCarthy’s work and what made her such a pivotal figure in the folk meets graffiti aesthetic of Mission School art is that she is relentless in discovering how far a line can tangle with others, how her helices can be applied over and over and never look the same and never repeat. You can sense the meditative quality in each show, and how her past in working on the street allows for chance to occur. She’s at her best when there’s mistakes, and these are a wonderful subtle allegories to the forgotten things we leave behind. —Evan Pricco