Coagula Corner - Review

September 16, 2005

Carol Es at George Billis Gallery, Culver City

An interesting idea permeates the paintings of Carol Es - can the artist transform functional elements into a pure visual composition? Add to this that these functional shapes and objects are often graphic by nature and you have quite a tall order to fill. But this artist manages to deftly balance the demands of pleasant abstraction with the objects she has chosen to begin with. She uses the tools of the tailor - patterns, pins, scissors and paper. She transforms these little things into elegant paintings.

These artworks have no overbearing emphasis on the tools of the fashion trade - you could see them as simple collage-based abstractions. Es was raised in the family business - cutting clothes as a pre-teen. There is no angst, though, in the work - the artist abandoned the trade (and the relatives) for good decades ago. But the deeper construct here is that the detritus of one's roots are never gone, and one can either repress or rearrange them. She chose to make the pain/tedium of the past a thing of beauty for us to enjoy rather than to watch her wallow in. A rare treat and mature treat, indeed.

Exhibit runs thru October 15

-Mat Gleason, Editor, Coagula Art Journal