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Biography

Karen Carson

The artist with untitled Zipper work, 1972 black canvas, white duct tape, zippers 120 x 72 inches

b. 1943, Corvallis, OR
Lives in Los Angeles & Big Timber, Montana.

 

Carson debuted in 1971 with wall pieces made of zippered canvases that could be re- configured to create multiple abstract compositions. Since then, she has continued to shift and change, working in a wide variety of genres and mediums, including abstract painting, figuration, collage drawing, large scale installation, painted vinyl banners, and light boxes. After the zipper works, Carson discovered painterly expressionism as the fitting style for her vision of the turbulence of contemporary life. Her projects seem united by a desire to represent the flux of visual reality, manifested both in nature (ear- thquakes, fires, windstorms) and culture (wars, politics, spirituality). All her projects— including abstract paintings that emulate tectonic shifts (1980), symbolic tableaux with feminist themes (1990-91), painted globes representing celestial struggles of mythic gods, (1992), commercial-style banners that advertise spiritual truths and the glories of nature (1994, 2001), light boxes depicting blurs of forest fire and smoke (2004), skys- capes of clashing herds of Pegasus-like horses (2007), and beachscapes filled with mys- terious dancers in silhouette (2010)—have manifested Carson’s desire to find visual analogs for the spiritual commotion of contemporary life. Unlike so much of today’s art-about-art, her ambitious work speaks to what we see and feel in the experience of the everyday.

CV

KAREN CARSON

 

EDUCATION

1994   Artist in Residence, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
1971   M.F.A., University of California, Los Angeles.
1966   B.A., University of Oregon.

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2020    “Middle Ground,” Gavlak Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.
2016    “Zip Line,” Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Santa Monica.
2015    “Movers and Shakers: Combines, Tractors, and Swathers by Karen Carson,” Oklahoma State University Museum of Art, Stillwater, OK.
2013    Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Santa Monica.
2011    “La Condition Humaine,” Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Santa Monica.
2010    "Let's Face the Music and Dance," Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Santa Monica. 2007 “Ride the Wind,” Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Santa Monica.
2005    Pomona College Museum of Art, Project Series, Claremont, CA
2004    “Putting Out Fires,” Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Santa Monica.
2001    "Making the Seen," Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Santa Monica.
1998    Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Santa Monica.
1997    Crockett Rodeo, Seattle, Washington.
            Bill Maynes Gallery, New York.
1996    "Art From the Heart," Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Santa Monica.
            "But Enough About Me," a three-venue exhibition, organized by Anne Ayres: “The Language of Space," Otis Gallery, Los Angeles.
            "It's A Small World," Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions.
             "Karen Carson: A 25-Year Survey, Santa Monica Museum of Art, curated by Noriko Gamblin, Bill Maynes Gallery, New York.
1994    Donna Beam Fine Art Gallery, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, brochure. "Simple Lessons, Easy Pieces," Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles.
1992    Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles
1991    "A Time and a Place for Everything," Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles.
1990    "Hot Flashes - Dangerous Drawings,” Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles.
1989    "Spiritual Vanities," Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles.
1988    "Abstract Narcissism," Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles.
1987     Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles.
1985     Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles.
1984     Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles.
1982     Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles.
1981     Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles.
1980     Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles.
1979     Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles.
1977     Cirrus Gallery, Los Angeles.
1976     Cirrus Gallery, Los Angeles.
1973     Cirrus Gallery, Los Angeles.
1969     Atheneum Gallery, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2020     Nasty Women, Gavlak Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2014     “The Avant-Garde Collection,” OCMA, Newport Beach, CA
             “Valley Vista: Art in the San Fernando Valley CA. 1970-1990”, California State University, Northridge Galleries, Northridge, CA, curated by Damon Willick.
             "Canvas Constructions" Karen Carson and Allan McCollum, Henry Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle.
2011     “Under the Big Black Sun,” MOCA, Los Angeles, CA (catalog).
2010     “Side By Side,” The Colburn School, Los Angeles, exhib. of artists ’portraits by Wayne Shimabukuro and artworks by each artist, (catalogue).
2009     “Is This The Real Life?” Galerie Califia, Horazdovice, Czech Republic, curated by Phyllis Green.
2006      “Plainer: A Contemporary Take on Landscape,” Torrance Art Museum, Torrance.
              “Driven to Abstraction,” Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA.
2005      “Contemporary Soliloquies on the Natural World: Karen Carson, Merion Estes, Constance Mallinson, Margaret Nielsen, and Takako Yamaguchi,” Fisher Gallery, University of                     Southern California, Los Angeles, catalogue.
2004      “Beyond Geometry,” Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA, catalogue, curated by Lynn Zelevansky.
              “MCCF View & Vote,” The Marian Koogler McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX. 2002
              “Parallels and Intersections: Art/Women/California 1950-2000,” curated by Diana Fuller, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, California.
              “Post-Cool,” curated by Michael Duncan, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA. “Curators ’Choice,” McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX.
2001      "The L.A. Scene," Numark Gallery, Washington, D.C.
              "The Importance of Being Earnest," curated by Michael Duncan, Occidental College, Los Angeles.
              “The Magic Hour: Die Konvergenz Von Kunst und Las Vegas,” curated by Alex Farquharson, Neue Galerie at the Künstlerhaus, Burgring, Graz, Austria.
2000       "The Big G Stands for Goodness: Corita Kent's 1960s POP," curated by Michael Duncan, Luckman Fine Arts Gallery, California State University, Los Angeles.
               "100 Rooms, 100 Artists; The Spurgeon Experience," Raid Projects, Santa Ana, CA
               "12 Divas," curated by Dextra Frankel, Molly Barnes Gallery, Santa Monica.
1999       "Radical Past: Art and Music in Pasadena, 1960-74," Norton Simon Museum, Armory Center for the Arts, and Art Center College of Design, Pasadena.
1998        Pop Abstraction, curated by Sid Sachs, Museum of American Art of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia.
                Beauty is the Beast, Nevada Institute for Contemporary Art, Las Vegas, NV.
1997         Four Los Angeles Artists, Robin Gibson Gallery, Sydney International, Sydney, Australia.
1996        "Made in L.A.: The Prints of Cirrus Editions," Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
                "Drawn from L.A.," Williamson Gallery, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena.
                "Sentimental Extremes," Bill Maynes Gallery, New York.
1995        "Flowers," curated Irit Krygier, Boritzer/Gray/Hamano, Santa Monica.
                "Selections from the Robert A. Rowan Trust Collection," Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena.
                "Eye Tattooed America," Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA. "From L.A. With Love," Galerie Praz-Delavallade, Paris.
                "La Demande esta en Barata," Galeria OMR, Mexico City. "LA," Guerra Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City.
                "Sentimental Extremes," Bill Maynes Gallery, New York. "Bread," Airport Terminal, San Francisco.
                "Lotus Motel Show," Lotus Motel, Inglewood, CA.
1994         "Love in the Ruins," curated by Noriko Gamblin, Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA, catalogue.
                 "Pen and Ink," curated by Michael Darling, Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara.
                 "Balls," Newspace, Los Angeles.
                 "Romance," curated by Irit Krygier, Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena.
1993         "The Contemporary Psychedelic Experience," Guggenheim Gallery, Chapman College, Orange, CA.
                 "L.A. STORIES," Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, Los Angeles.
                 "the elegant, irreverent & obsessive: DRAWING IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA," Visual Arts Center, California State University, Fullerton.
                 "BACKTALK," Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara.
                 "L.A. Next," curated by Annette Carlozzi, Contemporary Arts Council, New Orleans, LA
1992          "Bedroom Eyes Room with a View," California State University, Fullerton, CA.
                  "LAX: The Los Angeles Exhibition," Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles.
                  "Tattoo Collection," Air de Paris, Urbi Orbi, Paris.
1991          "Individual Realities," Sezon Museum of Art, Tokyo and Tsukashin Hall, Osaka, Japan.
                  "Quick Coagulation Forms The August Corpse," Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
                  "Addictions," Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, CA.
1990          "Past & Present - Selected Works by Gallery Artists," Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1989          "The Pasadena Armory Show," The Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, catalogue. 1988 "New Works on Paper," Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles.
1987          "The Years of Passage: 1969-1975," Fresno Arts Center and Museum, Fresno, CA.
                  "Group Exhibition," Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, CA.
                  "Perpetual Motion," Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA, catalogue. 1985
                  "Sunshine and Shadow: Recent Painting in Southern California," Fisher Gallery, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, catalogue.
1984          "Watercolors: A Contemporary Survey," University Art Gallery, San Diego State University, San Diego.
                  "Karen Carson, Janet Cooling, Amanda Farber, Gillian Theobald," Patty Aande Gallery, San Diego.
1983          "Summer Show," Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles.
                 "The First Show," The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, catalogue.
                 "Group Exhibition," Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles.
1982         "Drawings by Painters," Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA, catalogue.
                 "L.A. Art: An Exhibition of Contemporary Paintings," Nagoya City Museum, Nagoya, Japan and Municipal Art Gallery, Barnsdall Park, Los Angeles.
                 "Recent Acquisitions from the Collection of Robert A. Rowan," Art Center School of Design, Pasadena.
                 "New Work," Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles. "Theatrical Abstraction," Jan Baum Gallery, Los Angeles.
1981         "Decade: Los Angeles Painting in the '70s," Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, catalogue.
                "Abstractions," San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco.
                "The Museum as Site: Sixteen Projects," Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, catalogue.
                "Professor's Choice," Lang Gallery, Scripps College, The Galleries of the Claremont Colleges, Claremont, CA.
1980        "Contemporaries: 17 Artists," Security Pacific Bank, Los Angeles, catalogue. "New Work," Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles.
1979        "L.A. Drawing Show," University of New Mexico Art Gallery, Albuquerque
                "Los Angeles -Toronto Exchange," A.C.T., Toronto, with Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art.
1978        "A Point of View," Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
                "L.A. Women Narrations," Mandeville Art Gallery, University of California, San Diego.
                "Group Exhibition," Libra Gallery, Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, CA.
1977        "Six Faculty Artists," California State University, Northridge. "Current Concerns," University of Iowa, Fine Arts Gallery, Iowa City.
1976        "Contemporary Masters," Libra Gallery, Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, CA. "Artists, West L.A.," Tortue Gallery, Santa Monica.
                "American Artists '76, A Celebration," Marion K. McNay Institute, San Antonio, TX, catalogue.
1975        "Drawings," Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach, CA, catalogue.
                "North, East, West, South and Middle (American Drawings)," Moore College of Art, Philadelphia; Pratt Graphics Center, New York; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC;                     Fort Worth Art Museum, Fort Worth, TX; La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, CA.
                "Drawings," Dootson-Calderhead Gallery, Seattle.
                "Graphics-Cirrus," Van Stratten Gallery, Chicago. "Paintings," John Doyle Gallery, Chicago.
                "Cirrus Graphics," Santa Barbara Center for Graphics, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA.
                "Drawings," Brooke Alexander, New York.
1974        "Exprint," Libra Gallery, Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, CA.
                "Sixteen Los Angeles Women Artists," Cerritos College, Norwalk, CA, catalogue.
1973        "Carson, O'Shea, Trowbridge," 118 Gallery, Minneapolis.
                "Recent Drawings/California," Long Beach City College, Long Beach.
                "Some California Artists," The Gallery of the Loretto-Hilton Center, St. Louis, MO.
                "Young American Graphics," Loyola University, Los Angeles and Hamburg, Germany.
1972        "Fifteen Los Angeles Artists," Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena.
                "21 Artists: Visible/Invisible," Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach.
                "32nd Annual Exhibition for the Society of Contemporary Art," Chicago Art Institute, Chicago.
                "California Women Painters," Lang Art Gallery, Scripps College, The Galleries of the Claremont Colleges, Claremont, CA.
                "Soft Sculpture," Brand Art Center, Glendale, CA.
                "The Wall Object," La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, CA.
                "Drawings," Cirrus Gallery, Los Angeles.
1971        "Southern Illinois Centennial Years," Southern Illinois University, Carbondale (Purchase Award).
1970        "New Talent, Los Angeles," Auspices of Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, San Pedro Gallery, San Pedro, California.
                "11 Young Sculptors," Mt. San Antonio College Gallery, Walnut, California. "Eighth Annual Small Sculpture and Drawing Exhibition," San Diego Museum of Fine Arts, San Diego.
                "Seventh Annual Small Sculpture and Drawing Exhibition," Western Washington State College, Bellingham.
                "Eighth Annual Southern California Exhibition," Long Beach (Purchase Prize).
1969        "Los Angeles '69," Municipal Art Gallery, Barnsdall Park, Los Angeles.
1964        "Oregon Annual Painting Exhibition," Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Oregon. 1963 "Northwest Printmakers' Annual," Henry Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

1995 - 1999      Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara Lecturer, University of Nevada, Las Vegas Lecturer, University of California, Irvine

1994 - 1995      Lecturer, University of California, Los Angeles Lecturer, Otis College of Art and Design Lecturer, Art Center College of Design Lecturer, Claremont Graduate School

1986  - 1995      Lecturer, University of California, Santa Barbara

AWARDS

1981      John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Painting Fellowship
1996      Research Grant, University of California, Santa Barbara.
1994      The J. Paul Getty Trust Fellowship administered by the California Community Foundation.
1985      National Endowment for the Arts Grant
1972      Mitchell Gallery, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Purchase Award 1972 Mt. San Antonio College, Walnut, CA, Purchase Award
1970      Western Washington College, Bellingham, Purchase Award Long Beach Museum of Art, Purchase Award
1969      Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Young Talent Award

PROJECTS

1996      Levi’s commercial (artwork featured), H.S.I., New York, Los Angeles New York Art Pick, http://www.art.icons.com

1977      Billboard, located at Santa Monica & La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles 1973 Installation, Brand Library, Glendale, CA.

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