Toma Carr

Galería Cadaqués

Since the late ’70s Tom Carr’s work has included ideas of time—of both perception and execution—and of space, as both support and plastic instrument. These elements, together with color and image, have been mixed by Carr in a direct, personal, and poetic manner which has left him free to express his artistic sentiment in quite different ways and in different genres. Although some works may look like isolated novelties, the drawings, installations, sculptures, and objects all belong to the same family This unity is not always easy to detect, however, because the intention of the artist is aggressively nonevolving.

The obvious genre that Carr has avoided is painting, though paradoxically he has always emphasized the visual character of his works and has chosen materials for their visual qualities. In earlier works, when making luminous alterations of interior spaces, he qualified them as expressive variables while at the same time he pushed the visitor to think of him- or herself as the only image at hand. Later he worked in pure image and color, darkening a room and projecting on the walls handmade slides displaying signs, dots, landscapes, anamorphic images, or gestural strokes. At the time of this reversal he was also working on objects closely related with space, time illusion, and color, like light-lances and kites. Having treated space and image in a very radical manner, Carr felt the necessity to configurate. He first made black-and-white drawings using graffiti bars depicting very symbolic and archetypal constructions that profited from suggestions of scale and verticality. Soon he began to make sculptures of wax.

As the artist himself recognizes, the move to sculpture was a necessary step. In making this change, Carr was not troubled by dimensional or image questions because he had only to translate the intentions he had already worked out in the drawings into sculpture. Representation and configuration are both seen as the fundamental areas of art-making. His solution to the classic problem of the support/image dichotomy is to treat the former in an expressive way He does not reject configuration, because it allows him to be strongly expressive and to fuel his creative power. But he does not let the material qualities absorb the work; rather, he makes imagination and illusion become material.

Gloria Moure