The Cradle to the Grave
Enamel and vinyl appliqué on vinyl, 114"x70"
© Karen Carson, 1995-1996

Artist Statement
Karen Carson

I rarely make artist statements because they tie me to something that will become obsolete. Part of my love affair with the West is that here change and time are fast and forward. Lincoln Boulevard near my studio changes its style and content almost monthly. I feel my art should reflect that dynamic quality.

I was born in Oregon and have spent 30 years in Los Angeles with one 6-year hiatus in New York City. Gender, place, region, time, culture (pop and high), ethnic diversity, and my own daily life have all informed my work in varying degrees. The Western sky is a huge negative space, a metaphor for the imagination. The landscape is filled with possibility, and I can think of nothing more energizing for the artist.


Born in Corvallis, Oregon in 1943, Karen Carson received her bachelor's degree from the University of Oregon, Eugene, and her Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of California-Los Angeles. She has exhibited at the Rosamund Felson Gallery in Los Angeles for many years, including 1979-82, 1984-85, 1987-92, 1994 and 1995. Among the group exhibitions she has participated in are Selections from the Robert A. Rowan Trust Collection, at the Williamson Gallery, the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and Love in the Ruins: Art and the Inspiration of L.A., at the Long Beach Museum of Art.


Brooks, Rosetta. "Love in the Ruins." Artforum May 1994: 107.

Brown, Betty Ann. "Protean Woman: The Feminine Image Redefined." Artspace Summer 1992: 17-20.

Butler, Brian. "A Complex Self-Referencing." Artweek 25 June 1988: 3.

Duncan, Michael. Art in America November 1996.

Duncan, Michael. "LA Rising." Art in America December 1994: cover, 72-83.

Duncan, Michael. "LAX Lifts Off." Art in America April 1993: 51-55.

Duncan, Michael. Review of work by Karen Carson. Art in America November 1994: 136.

Gerstler, Amy. Review of work by Karen Carson. Artforum April 1991: 133.

Hickey, Dave. "Critic's Choice, Best Artist '96." Artforum December 1996.

Hickey, Dave. "Karen Carson: Sentimental Extremes." Catalog essay. New York: Bill Maynes Contemporary Art, 1996.

Hickey, Dave, and Anne Ayres. Karen Carson: But Enough about Me. Catalog. Otis College of Art and Design, 1996.

Individual Realities. Tokyo and Osaka: Sezon Museum of Art and Tsukashin Hall, 1991.

Kandel, Susan. Review of work by Karen Carson. Los Angeles Times 23 May 1992: F10.

Knight, Christopher. "Classic Strokes of Cheekiness." Los Angeles Times 16 March 1996: F10.

Knight, Christopher. "A Suggestion of Cultural Edginess." Los Angeles Times 10 March 1994: C1, C11.

Larson, Susan C. Review of work by Karen Carson. Artnews February 1983: 129.

LAX: The Los Angeles Exhibition 92. Catalog. Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, 1992.

Meyers, Terry. World Art. Fall 1996.

Specter, Buzz. Review of work by Karen Carson. Artforum September 1989: 154-155.

Turner, William. "But Enough about Me: Karen Carson." Venice March 1996: 54-58.

Wilson, William. Review of work by Karen Carson. Los Angeles Times 17 June 1988: VI-15.

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All images and text © Karen Carson.