Carson debuted in 1971 with wall pieces made of zippered canvases that could be reconfigured 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 (earthquakes, 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), skyscapes of clashing herds of Pegasus-like horses (2007), and beachscapes filled with mysterious 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.
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