We are witness to nature’s biological appeals. Its arbitrary morphologies. Vascular plants with leaf buds along their spines laying with hothouse flowers, gray tubers breaking the earth to press against the deciduous litter, cobwebs on hairy sheaths, pollen motes heavy with male gametes landing on the stalks of leaflets. But then again, the commercial and artificial world of our making is just as loaded with merciless beauties, the impossible tilting of container ships between cresting waves, the inflorescence of palm trees behind jersey barriers in California, the tropical orange of car fires. Caroline Larsen includes all of these in her oil paintings, coating them in lines of appetizing colors like decorated birthday cakes.
Larsen’s procedure is explicitly tactile; sometimes breaking elements into a sequence of hues, and sometimes creating halftone color fields, Larsen weaves threads of paint to create a sort of plastic embroidery or thick, sticky textile. According to a statement from The Hole, “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…” Her surfaces are thickly modeled, sculpted, but the eye penetrates, establishes space. In the paintings that feature subjects at a distance, or with a grander scale, like volcanic magma flows, Larsen restricts the length of her paint strands, stunting the sense magnitude and flattening the representation into the canvas.
Overall, the show is reminiscent of viewing lush scenery or environments through a computer or television screen; there is a controlled luminescence — a static flow radiating out from each piece, where the implied image floats and sizzles out at the edges, soaking the wall, puddling on the floor. Caroline Larsen showed from June 11th to July 24th at The Hole in a solo show titled Kabloom!, and will be on view at the Wave Hill Botanical Gardens in the Bronx, New York, from April 5th until August 28th, 2016.
All images courtesy by The Hole NYC.
Subscribe to Art Report’s official newsletter for more stories you don’t want to miss.