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Gallery Conversation » The Beyond Artist Caroline Larsen
Join artist Caroline Larsen for a conversation on her artwork in the temporary exhibition, The Beyond: Georgia O’Keeffe & Contemporary Art. Larsen’s process involves loading paint into piping bags and squeezing it onto the canvas to create delicately layered and brilliantly hued coatings of paint. Space is limited; please arrive 5 to 10 minutes early.
The Gallery Conversation is free, but a ticket to the exhibition is required: $10 (Free for members and youth ages 18 and under), available at Guest Services or https://crystalbridges.org/okeeffe
About the Artist
It’s not often that people describe paintings as “woven together,” but it’s hard to escape textile lingo when talking about Caroline Larsen’s work. By pushing undiluted paint through metal icing nozzles normally used for baking, Larsen creates raised surfaces that offer the illusion of beading, cross-stitching, or a variety of other textile techniques. In some works, Larsen chooses subjects that first appear abstract before slowly resolving themselves, mirroring the closer examination necessary to recognize her works as paintings. In other artworks, the scenes are immediately identifiable, but employ the textile association as a form of commentary.
In Adult Swim and LA Curbed, Larsen depicts perfectly manicured California backyards: the Toronto-born artist’s glamorized vision of west-coast desert living. Larsen’s vision of the desert, corralled into individual parcels of paradise, stands at odds with the timeless, ethereal associations American artists have previously brought to the subject. In Larsen’s hands, the desert becomes not a zone of spiritual contemplation and aesthetic transcendence, but a space of leisure, conspicuous consumption, and controlled nature. Flipping the high and the low in their material approach, too, Larsen’s “woven” backyard paintings act as tongue-in-cheek nods to traditions of homespun craft work. Larsen’s employment of kitsch casts a critical eye onto the manufactured version of the American dream that she sees in the desert landscape of California.