June 11 – July 24, 2016
OPENING: Saturday, June 11th from 5-8pm
The Hole is proud to announce a solo exhibition of paintings by Caroline Larsen. In oil paintings that experiment with icing-thick and even woven paint application, she explores flowers and plants, car crashes and mountain ranges as her subjects.
Dispensing paint through a pastry tube with varying nibs, Larsen is able to line, layer and weave colors together, sometimes blending them within the same extrusion. This technique can produce a variety of effects, from 8-bitish pointillism in the weaves, to a sort of jewel-like sculptural relief in the plants, or a tessellated warping mesh grid in the lined hybrid works. The pieces are composed either in a wonky top-down, left-to-right layering or a block-by-block patterning that is more articulated edges and paint-by-numbers.
Depending on the work the splorts of paint she lays down either sort of follow the shape of what they depict or confuse it. The grasses are hatched with lines in a directionality that conforms to their structure, for example, while in a mountain range the overall paint weave collapses dimensionality and flattens the landscape. All works are extremely dense, the car crashes an impermeable thicket of paint, the floral works an airtight jungle. The succulents and fruits share the waxy impermeable exteriors of their referents in real life, the car fires understandably unapproachable. But perhaps it is their very tactility that makes them so enticing: it is hard to see thick oil paint and not want to eat it, or is that just me? It’s hard to smell thick oil paintings and not be jazzed, this is the material we painters love, and lots of it!
Their craftiness and kitchiness adds a layer of complication; the technique feels so lovingly homespun, so why did the artist spin a scene of fiery destruction for us? Is the appeal of a flaming box truck abstract or sincere? Over-articulated edges and hypersaturated colors make the paintings of flora hectic, psychedelic. The mountains are so crazy colored they look on fire with sunset, a postcard injected with saccharine, is that beautiful or beautified? As with the exhibition by Adam Parker Smith concurrently in Gallery 3, the viewer is asked to question their own notions of beauty and the real and the fake.
Caroline Larsen was born in Canada and studied at the University of Waterloo there, the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and got her MFA with honors at Pratt in 2015. She has exhibited widely in Canada with solo exhibitions at General Hardware, also in Tel Aviv and currently has a solo show of fruits and foliage at Wave Hill Public Gardens in the Bronx. Many people encountered her work in the 2016 Spring Break Art Show while I saw it first in the house of painter Anders Oinonen and Suzy Oliveira in Toronto.
For more information about the artist and to preview works in exhibition please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured image: Diamond Back, 2016, Oil on canvas, 47 x 37 inches