los-angeles

Karen Carson

Cirrus Gallery

All jostle and rip, Karen Carson’s new collages seem lashed into shape by an inarticulate ferocity. Unlike her earlier fetishistic drawings of tortured beds, the current large-scale works are abstract. Yet they exhibit the same aggressive instinct for demolition that characterizes the drawings, and they are based on the same fierce premises: that form has vitality only when it is fragmented, assaulted, and flayed; that distraction of the eye of the beholder is a desirable goal; and that an artist’s job of work is in the end a binder’s craft, a gathering up and a welding together of the agitated shards that constitute the esthetic experience.

Carson’s procedure is itself a curious fusion of destruction and construction. She first prints large sheets of paper with lithographic ink, using several impressions to get varied, rather harsh, color effects. Since the motif reproduced is an allover,

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