Lawrence Carroll — Nothing Gold Can Stay
Nothing Gold Can Stay
Past: June 8 → August 3, 2013Lawrence Carroll — Galerie Karsten Greve La galerie Karsten Greve présente la fascinante transition du travail du peintre sexagénaire Lawrence Carroll. Passé du minimalisme... Critique
Nothing Gold Can Stay is devoted to Lawrence Carroll. Through the public exhibiting of these works created between 2009 and 2013, the gallery is paying homage to this painter of subtlety and silence, currently exhibiting at the Venice Biennale in the Vatican Pavilion. Selected by the artist, the title of the exhibition is a reference to a poem written in 1923 by the American poet, Robert Frost celebrating the lapsed beauty of nature. The poem reflects Lawrence Carroll’s aesthetics, in perfect harmony with the perishable nature of all things. The title is a citation of the last of the eight lines of the poem, where “dawn goes down to day” and nothing gold can stay.
Lawrence Carroll’s works are born in the concern of the moment present and of the moment past. His approach to work acquires a solemn allure: Carroll allows himself to be guided by time, by waiting and the placid. Nothing is done precipitously. The almost sacred balance that emanates from his works between drawing, painting and sculpture offer the spectator a temporal and spatial evasion towards a purified aesthetic dimension. Through a process of abstraction that refuses the rigidities of a certain minimalism, the artist achieves a purification of forms that still allows a very concrete material presence. This perfect synthesis between body and soul confers an immediate expressive power to Carroll’s works: both intimate and imposing, his works, which are never garish, stir through their marvellous sobriety, today so precious and rare.
The works presented in the exhibition were done with a mixed technique and applied on canvas or wood. Thus wax, acrylic and other materials that are used, such as cloth and pieces of canvas, create a superposition that recalls the progressive accumulation of all things in time. The almost total absence of figuration as well as the discreet and carefully chosen colours, confer a universal scope to the canvases: in the face of these works, the visitor experiences a pure and innate feeling that is at once profoundly personal and collective.
The notion of accumulation plays an essential role in Lawrence Carroll’s work and is at the origins of the creative process itself. It is not about this frenetic contemporary accumulation that leads to a kind of material bulimia; on the contrary the accumulation the artist speaks of refers to the patience of waiting, of the hope that things will be revealed with time and that our regard will change with them. Like in a snowfall, quietly overnight covering the ground until all disappears and you see something else. In this sense, Lawrence Carroll’s paintings are the result of what has been accumulated throughout time: the elements that he includes in his works, like everything that covers the support, come from his atelier and his past life, the details of which he keeps. The bouquet of plastic flowers in Blue Ivy Painting for example, bear witness to this approach. Among all that has accumulated, it turns out that one day something is necessary to the work, as in the case of the Fairhaven fabric that gives its name to several of the exhibited works: it was in the middle of the 1980’s that Carroll rediscovered this material and, after making it “wait” for ten years in his studio, he began to use it in his work.
Through an artistic approach that corresponds more globally to an approach to life, Lawrence Carroll saves and waits so that things pile up one upon the other to then be able to put them away in the right place. The content of the works emerges in effect from their structure, which is different each time: Carroll produces his work in an intuitive manner by reworking the form several times and in an almost instinctive fashion. It is this evolution that allows him to find what he is looking for. At the frontier between sculpture and painting, Carroll’s works are characterised by an appreciable presence of the brushwork whose imperfections contribute to rendering them living and human, and thereby making them essential. The Untitled (Blue Ivy Painting) works show this aspect well: cut, sewn up again and in a sense, progressively rebuilt, the surface of these works bears witness to the artist’s gestures as well as his reflections.
Lawrence Carroll was born in Melbourne (Australia) in 1954 and grew up in California. His first solo show was in New York in 1988. In 1992 he participated in Documenta IX where he was also invited in 2005 for the event’s fiftieth anniversary. Following training at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena (California), Lawrence Carroll exhibited in the most important contemporary art museums in the world. His works can be found in prestigious public and private international collections and are currently on exhibition at the Venice Biennale in the Vatican Pavilion. Lawrence Carroll lives and works in Bolsena, in Italy.
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