Carol John's art reflects her encounters with mainstream modern artists-showing the obvious influence of Guston and other individualists like Marsden Hartley and Alfred Julio Jensen-it also suggests an appreciation of certain 'outsider' artists, as with her improvisational approach to composition. Like quilters of Gee Bend, John often begins a work with little idea of where it will take her pictorially. She might find a composition’s repeating pattern needs to be squeezed to fit within a pictures margins or detoured around a corner for completion as if the papers edge were merely a slight obstacle. In their unrestricted manner, the paintings have much more in common with childhood doodles, mindless of convention and heedless of expectations. that is not to say they are directionless. Guided by insight, they recall the paintings of visionary artists like Howard Finster or J.B Murray, both from Georgia. Murray covered reams of paper with calligraphic script in a private language, arrayed in inventive patterns and worked into obsessive density. In his more figural work, he frequently crowded the page with countless eyes staring as one, eerily confronting the viewer. John, too, has amassed swarms of eyeballs to a similarly unnerving effect. Disembodied and separated from paired sets, her pupils roll their focus to the left and right or up into their sockets. Rarely do they look onto a viewers gaze. Yes, you are being watched, but furtively, and that maybe even more disarming. -Dennis Harper Born in the USA and educated in Europe, Carol John spent her childhood in museums and art classes. Ms. John attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City and now resides in Athens, Georgia. For the last 20 years she has gone into her studio every morning at 8:30. “When I am in my studio I try to push the colors into bursts of energy that explode on the canvas. I want my work to animate the space that it inhabits. It is this energy between the eye and the mind that interests me” - Carol John Carol John’s work has been widely exhibited in Georgia and New York City. Such venues have included The High Museum of Art, MOCA GA, The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center and Ms. John’s work is in the permanent collection at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.
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