My staff and I discovered the thought-provoking collaged paintings of Carol Gove nearly two years ago, when she was planning for an exhibition at Regis College in Weston, Massachusetts. The hand-painted hues and scissor-cut shapes jumped off the page in the catalog, but upon seeing the textures and varying densities of hue in person, we couldn’t move fast enough to make her a part of Galerie d’Orsay’s stable of artists. Intrepid in her use of color, gesture and sometimes intensely personal nature, Gove invites her viewers into the multi-faceted archaeological dig of her creativity. Unearthing sources from her personal belongings, estate sales and antique shops, she triggers personal and shared memories for us all as she reminisces about those who came before us and foresees the future through her innovative technique. Revealing fragments of our common histories—maps, report cards, sheet music, blue prints and antique photographs—and layering them with vivid swaths of paint and energetic splashes, she offers the viewer a moment of self-reflection as they are reminded of their own memories through her works. A rising star, Carol Gove has received critical acclaim and honors with group exhibitions at the DeCordova Museum, Whistler Museum and Danforth Museum of Art. Evoking the spirit and exuberance of Matisse, Rothko and Rauschenberg, Carol’s work brings you to an intimate place of memories and treasures explored by us, the viewer. Galerie d’Orsay is proud to represent Carol Gove, and invites you to join us in celebrating Carol’s newest collection. Heartache, 60” x 48”, mixed media collage on panel
SALLIE HIRSHBERG Managing Partner and CEO | Galerie d’Orsay
â€œI enjoy giving new life to older materials, leaving only a fragment of their original state. When you see my paintings, they feel almost built, with lots of layering and ripping away.â€?
Essay by SARA BURD | Curator | Nashville Arts Magazine
“That reminds me of . . .” is a phrase Carol Gove hopes to hear at her exhibitions. Her art is often inspired by her own reflections, and yet the materials she includes are general enough to serve as reference points for all viewers. She encourages people to consider their own memories associated with objects like handwritten notes, botanical prints, blank sheet music, etc., but Gove layers paint and collage materials to obscure allusions. She leaves room for viewers to fill in the blanks with their own associations. Each viewer’s unique background and relationship with the materials, colors, textures, and lines shapes the significance of each artwork. As an abstract expressionist artist, Gove seeks to elicit an immediate response. Her aesthetic follows in the lineage of the post-WWII New York artists such as Lee Krasner, Robert Motherwell, and Willem de Kooning who sought to make a new art that’s both cerebral, emotional, and revealing of the artist’s true identity. The foundational artists were loosely connected, but the general thread that binds these artists is their Vulnerable, 48” x 48”, mixed media collage on canvas
commitment to gestural application of paint and mastery of formal elements used to create expressive compositions. Gove’s art is striking when viewed from far away, but considering her work up close also provides insight into her motivations and memories.
Abstract expressionist artists relish time with their canvases as a means to explore their own relationship with their medium. For example, observing texture in Gove’s work reveals more than a haphazard decision; it is a sensitive presentation of how and why the art was made. The artist delights in the process of abstract expressionism, but also the meaning derived from assembling found objects into her work. Collage became part of the fine art vocabulary in the West during the early 20th century through Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. These artists began with the belief that combining painting and cut-out images allowed a new way of looking at both media. They pursued connecting with viewers through recognizable references to the everyday world. The incorporation of collage elements allows Gove to create visual and expressive conversations that go beyond what she could make with just paint. She explains, “It’s exciting to me the immediacy collage can give you. You can be painting gesturally on a canvas, and deciding if you like the opacity of the paint or the drips or what your next choice will be, but when you find a piece of collage and adhere it to the painting, it changes it so much and immediately.” Many objects she incorporates into her work are personal items collected from friends, family members, and her own writing, but she also takes time to Grown Up, 40” x 30”, mixed media collage on canvas
search at antique stores, online, and during her daily experiences to find the perfect material to communicate her vision. As Gove explains, “It’s that search with collage that I really love. If you go into my studio you can find boxes and boxes of source materials.” Like many aspects of Gove’s art, the titles have multiple levels of meaning. Sometimes the title relates to how the artwork looks, but sometimes it is not apparent; it’s more of a personal caption. In Driven, for example, the painting feels intense. The gestural marks, dramatic colors, and the collage elements all pull the viewer’s attention to one place or another. As Gove notes, “The title relates to the motion your eye takes when moving through the piece or across the specific materials incorporated.” The passing of the artist’s father has inspired new works in a series Gove has titled “Lineage.” She began the work as a celebration and processing of her life with him after his terminal diagnosis. In My First Friend, she combines a youthful My First Friend, 40” x 40”, mixed media collage on canvas
palette and whimsical composition to connote the spirit of the young girl who admired her father’s attention and affection. Gove includes imagery that has specific meaning to her such as the number “3” masked out into a larger number “2.” The artist explains, “Two relates to my dad and me, but also the fact that
soon the number of people in our family would go from three to two, my mom and me.” She also incorporates sheet music featuring the song “If I Live to be a Hundred” to reference mortality and endings. Gove touches on special experiences with her father while also presenting paintings that strike the viewer’s imagination. Another work from the series, Tend to Me, the artist combines the feelings she experienced being her father’s caregiver and her memories of him tending his garden each year throughout her life. The modulated rhythm of light and dark in multiple hues across the canvas invigorate the composition, compelling relational investigation and feeling. In all of Gove’s art, she maintains the tension between what is presented, what is remembered, and what is dreamed. By scouring for objects she adds material history to her work, and creates room for specific and general meaning. The artworks stand strong as aesthetic combinations of colors, lines, shapes, and objects that evoke immediate responses and conjure stories written and not yet written.
Visit From a Raven, 60” x 40”, mixed media on canvas
Tend to Me, 36” x 60”, mixed media on canvas
Free From Responsibilites, 40” x 60”, mixed media collage on canvas
Reminders, 40” x 60”, mixed media collage on canvas
Artist Statement I draw from nature, landscape, and abstract expressionism, attempting to strike a balance between painterly gesture and the physicality of a pasted collage fragment. I mine a personal and aesthetic history for source material, re-using scraps of old handwritten letters, aging labels, sheet music, sewing patterns and other memorabilia from the lives of familial others, creating something new from something old. I create dialogue and play between the graphical history and textures of the found materials and the fluidity and opacity of paint. Remnants of imagery appear and disappear in my work as the materials are washed and worn by layers of paint. It is my intent to give the viewer a “glimpse” at a recognizable fragment or common history so that they may be reminded of their own memories when looking at my work.
Navigate, 40” x 30”, mixed media collage on canvas
Preparation, 36” x 60”, mixed media collage on canvas
Biography Carol Gove works out of her NH studio as an abstract mixed media collage artist. She has a BS from the University of New Hampshire and studied at the DeCordova Museum School in Boston. She has exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibits over the last 18 years. Her paintings and collages are exhibited nationally and can be found in public collections including the Federal Reserve Bank in Boston. She has been accepted in many nationally juried shows including a 100 year retrospective exhibit “In Context: Collage & Abstraction” at the Pavel Zoubok Gallery in New York. This exhibit included contemporary artists as well as master work by Kurt Schwitters, Robert Motherwell, Lee Krasner and more. In addition to working in her studio, Carol volunteers much of her time in animal rescue. She is the Assistant Director at a cat shelter in MA. She also has donated her artwork to many non profit causes including The Human Rights Campaign, Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Center in NH, Citizens for Affordable Housing in Boston, The NH Institute of Art and the Contemporary Art Forum in Phoenix.
Driven, 48” x 36”, mixed media collage on canvas
Stirring, 30” x 24”, mixed media collage on panel
Rift, 30” x 24”, mixed media collage on panel
Museum Exhibitions & Accolades DeCordova Museum & Sculpture Park, Lincoln MA 2013 Corporate Program Exhibit DeCordova Museum School, Lincoln MA 2001, 2002, 2003 Juried Exhibits Danforth Museum, Framingham MA 2006, 2008, 2011 Off the Wall Juried Exhibits Whistler Museum, Lowell MA 2005 Women in Arts Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA 2006 Juried Summer Party Art Auction Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix AZ 2013, 2015 Contemporary Forum Auction University & College Exhibits Regis College, Weston MA (solo) Lawrence Academy, Groton MA (solo) NH Institute of Art, Manchester NH (solo) Thorne Sagendorph Gallery, Keene NH University of Texas, Tyler TX Kimball Jenkins Estate, Concord, NH The Cambridge School of Weston, MA Kauffman Gallery, Shippensburg University, PA
While graphical history and textures of the found items create dialogue and play between the fluidity and opacity of paint, color dominates. Beyond chance, Gove’s paintings demonstrate structural rigor and a concern for formal composition. Gove gives the viewer a “glimpse” at a recognizable fragment or common history so that he or she may be reminded of personal memories. The artist’s urge to uncover and decipher an underlying and unifying story is powerful. Gove holds the viewer in check with her handling of shape and paint, making her works register equally as beautiful and awesome. ROSEMARY NOON | Curator Regis College | 2016
The look of the work matches the titles as sweeping brush strokes, bold colors, and saturated clouds of bleeding and dripping paint push into areas of calm. Initially high-speed, the experience is significantly slowed by the presence of collaged letters, torn graphics, and all manner of painted-over paper. It does all the things that good abstract expressionist paintings do and then some. JOSE LUCIANO | Reno News & Review | 2015
“I am most happy when I am covered in paint, my hands saturated with pigment, and my eyes searching for the “right” piece of collage to complete a composition and expression.”
CAROL GOVE Represented by Galerie dâ€™Orsay | 33 Newbury Street Boston, MA 02116 | www.galerie-dorsay.com
Published on May 31, 2017
Published on May 31, 2017
In Carol Gove's highly personal collages, drips of paint and chance combinations of materials yield unexpected juxtapositions and cause perc...