The theme of nature has become an increasingly loaded subject matter for artists. The 19th Century preoccupation with the “wonders of nature” has given way to the 21st Century’s anxiety of nature’s fragility and an uncertainty of what is “natural” in an age of cloning and genetic engineering. The desire for sublime experiences of splendor and awe is still with us, although the tradition of spiritual wonder as seen through the lens of nature appears to be an exhausted model. The shift from “organic” to “synthetic” nature is a defining factor of our age. This longing for authentic experience coupled with the knowledge that an Arcadian vision is forever in the past is the primary theme of my work.
The work is meant to express and reflect on our culture’s seemingly paradoxical wish to believe simultaneously in alchemy and science. Indeed, in an era of mind-boggling technological advances, many of us find it increasingly difficult to distinguish between the two. In a world where it is possible to make plastic from maize, and human proteins have been produced in genetically modified rubber plants, the “real” appears to be outstripping the fanciful in sheer implausibility. At once whimsical and monstrous, my work is a salutation to the resourcefulness of living beings and my own delight in playing the role of artist/god in creating new things at which to marvel. My subject is the instability of life, its changeability in a widening world, the purpose being to inspire a fresh but not always entirely comforting sense of possibility and wonderment. (from joannecarson.com)
JoAnne Carson was born in New York City and currently splits her time between Brooklyn, New York and Shoreham, Vermont. She received her MFA degree from the University of Chicago and attended the University of Illinois for undergraduate school.
Her work can be found in various public collections including the Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Fort Worth Art Museum, Joslyn Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, and the Frederick Weisman Art Foundation in Los Angeles.
She has received many awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, an Award in the Visual Arts, a Purchase Prize from The American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Louise Bourgeois Residency from Yaddo, and individual artist grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Illinois Arts Council.
Her sculptures, paintings and drawings have been shown in numerous solo and two-person exhibitions including The Fort Worth Art Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and galleries in New York City including Black and White Gallery, Claire Oliver Gallery, Joan Washburn Gallery, Ruth Siegel Gallery, and Plus Ultra Gallery.
Notable group exhibitions in public institutions include the American Academy of Arts and Letters Ceremonial Exhibition, The Whitney Biennial Exhibition, The New Orleans Museum Frederick Weisman Collection, the Albright Knox Gallery in Buffalo, Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, The Sheldon Art Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska and the Fleming Museum in Burlington, Vermont. Selected group exhibitions in commercial galleries include, Moti Hasson, D.C. Moore, Allan Frumkin, Ruth Siegel, and Joan Washburn, all located in New York City. (from joannecarson.com)