Los Angeles

Karen Carson

Rosamund Felsen Gallery

Karen Carson’s recent paintings are extremely literary. Although they look quite different from her earlier work, they almost seem to have been painted from written descriptions of their predecessors. It is as though Carson has named the key elements of the earlier works—the solid, hard-edged ring of the tondo, the fractured planes intersecting the circles, the sparse drawing and loose painting which define the planes and fill them in—and, by naming, has split them apart. Where these forms had been layered into a stacked, vertiginous space, here they are spread out across rectangular canvases both horizontal and vertical, one layer slid from beneath another. Where the previous work was cyclopean, the new paintings are all implied polyptychs; laid across the canvas, the circles are presented in stop action, pulled from the perfect round into ovals, ellipses, arcs, and finally into the lines

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