Calvin Ross Carl
I stumbled across the work of Portland-based artist Calvin Ross Carl the other day, and not for the first time. Somehow, for some reason, months ago I ran across his gorgeous impasto patterned paintings and I'm not sure why I didn't write about them then. But better late than never. I'm drawn to these with sort of "pure" enthusiasm that stems from well-executed formal elements: shape, color, and texture. Whether abstract or using text, there's a hard-edged abstracted aesthetic, and then there's that gorgeous, thick paint. And he's a natural colorist; the relationships between hues, especially when he chooses to pair complementary colors, are almost jolting. The patterns are almost optical when viewed from a distance, and the impasto paint gives them a sort of depth--or perhaps movement is even a better word--that keeps the hard-edged aspect of them from feeling too controlled.
As it happens, perhaps it's fortuitous that I waited to write about Carl, because he and his wife, Ashley Sloan, are opening the first show at their new gallery space, Carl & Sloan Contemporary in Portland this weekend. Check it out at carlsloan.com. Also check out more images and information on his work at calvinrosscarl.com.