JoAnne Carson

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JoAnne Carson
EducationUniversity of Illinois, Chicago
University of Chicago
Known forModern art

JoAnne Carson (born 1953) is an American artist and State University of New York professor[1] who resides in Brooklyn, New York and Shoreham, Vermont. She is known for her quirky, serio-comic works in painting, sculpture and assemblage all of which contain an exuberant, over-the-top form sensibility and a surrealist hybridity that happily mixes sources and categories. She is a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow.[2]


Shortly after graduate school Carson began to make large, three-dimensional paintings of constructed and found objects. The painted elements interacted with the sculptural form as a sort of camouflage; gutted televisions, wooden chairs, and vintage curtains provided a substrate for the painting. These works were widely exhibited and received considerable attention including a Prix de Rome, two solo museum exhibitions in Chicago and Fort Worth,[3] and inclusion in the 1985 Whitney Biennial. Dan Cameron’s 1984 review in Art News describes her as “a painter of formidable technique, whose extraordinary painted constructions are kaleidoscopic assemblages chock full of trompe-l’oeil painting, art-history quips, found objects and nostalgic echoes of early modernism.”

Over the next fifteen years her work became increasingly sculptural until in 2000 it became stand-alone, full blown sculpture. In 2001 she had a one-person exhibition at Plus Ultra Gallery[4] in Brooklyn of a single work, Bouquet, a nine-foot high, blue sculpture depicting a bouquet of non-normative flowers. Roberta Smith, in her New York Times review of the show wrote: “ (this work) is the culmination of methodical progress -- from painting to painted relief to painted wall sculptures – into three dimensions. More than ever before, Ms. Carson seems to be in her element.” She exhibited these works extensively including at the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Brooklyn Museum, and the National Academy Museum.

Her focus during the last few years has moved back to painting, pictorially expanding on the world that her sculptures inhabited. The paintings portray animated and abstracted flower forms that suggest narrative dramas in which plants take on the role of an ersatz human. The paintings offer the viewer a portal into a universe of alternative biology and psychological spectacle.

In 2001, the New York Times reviewed her work.[5]

Public Collections[edit]

  • The Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York[6]
  • The Fort Worth Art Museum, Texas[2]
  • The Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska[2]
  • The Koehnline Museum of Art, Des Plaines, Illinois
  • The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois[2]
  • The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, Chicago, Illinois
  • The Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Los Angeles,

Awards and Grants[edit]


  • 2016 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in Visual Art
  • 2008 Ellin P. Speyer Award for Sculpture, National Academy Museum, New York, NY
  • 2007 Louise Bourgeois Residency for a Sculptor, Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, NY
  • 2002 Purchase Prize in Sculpture, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York
  • 1985 Awards in the Visual Arts 4, Equitable Life Assurance Society, The Rockefeller
  • Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts
  • 1983 Prix de Rome, Fellow in Painting, American Academy in Rome
  • 1982 The National Endowment for the Arts, Individual Artist’s Fellowship


Solo exhibitions[edit]

  • 2013 The Front Gallery, New Orleans, LA
  • 2006 JoAnne Carson and Catherine Howe, Claire Oliver Gallery, New York, NY
  • 2002 JoAnne Carson and Tim Blum, Joan Washburn Gallery, New York, NY
  • 2001 Plus Ultra Gallery, Brooklyn, New York
  • 1994 & 1992 Sylvia Schmidt Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 1990 & 1988 Ruth Siegel Gallery, New York, New York[7]
  • 1988 Eve Mannes Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia
  • 1988 Dart Gallery, Chicago, Illinois
  • 1987 Ruth Siegel Gallery, New York, New York
  • 1986 Dart Gallery, Chicago, Illinois
  • 1985 The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois
  • 1982 Focus: JoAnne Carson, The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas
  • 1982 N.A.M.E. Gallery, Chicago Illinois


  1. ^ "JoAnne Carson". Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d "JoAnne Carson". Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  3. ^ "Events". 11 (1). Texas Monthly. November 1983. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c "Resume". Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  5. ^ "Art in review: JoAnne Carson". November 9, 2001. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  6. ^ "JoAnne Carson". Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  7. ^ "57th Street Area". 23 (37). New York Magazine. September 1990. Retrieved November 4, 2016.

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