Carla Goldberg at Skylight GalleryOctober 20, 2011
I was looking forward to Carla’s show with enormous anticipation. It puts a great burden on an artist to meet this level of expectation. Well, the wait is over – and this show is a revelation, simply spectacular.
Apparently, I’m not the only one that thinks so since the show almost sold out on opening night. Aside from having excellent eyes, her collectors are in good company as one of Carla’s pieces was recently acquired by the South Western Minnesota University Art Museum for their permanent collection. Carla’s last show sold out entirely and this one has almost sold out (the last pieces may be gone by now). She’s an artist on the move and I do believe that Carla will achieve the international acclaim her work deserves.
As I mentioned in an earlier article, Carla’s work is driven by the experiene of water. In the front room, the pieces were all about about drops of water on a liquid surface. They are 3-dimensional with the plop providing the merest hint of color. As always, shadow is an intrinsic component in the pieces,
In the middle room, you could imagine yourself snorkeling on a Caribbean reef. (Sorry, no pictures.) The clarity of the water is interspersed with bright darting objects. Obviously, the color points in the paintings aren’t moving, but you can think they are.
But the best was in the back room – the totally clear paintings. I realize this is a contracdiction in terms – how do you have a painting with no color? Well, the answer is rather easily if you take a clear acrylic sheet and used pour resin to achieve shodows and depths. The inspiration comes fom even imagining a clear painting.
There are two standout totally clear pieces. Forgive the photos because it’s very hard to capture these pieces well and these deserve to be well photographed.
The first is diptych and a wonder of swirls and eddies. In an odd way, it is reminiscent of van Gogh’s Starry Night in the shapes of the whorls and swirls. But it is more immdiate. You want to put your hand into the water. Picture yourself under water looking up or floating on the water looking down.
The other is called Strata, which makes sense when you consider a top layer a middle area and a bottom layer (top and boottom layers have ground glass added to the resin). But I think of it as looking out from behind a waterfall, the kind of thin, somewhat trickly waterfall like Haines Falls in the Catskills. To my eye, this is the gem of the show.
Each of these pieces have a common thread – they are energizing and calming simultaneously, no mean trick to achieve. Perhaps it’s the result of a high energy personality giving us the inner peace we crave. Or perhaps she simple espoused Kandinsky’s strictum of painting your inner essence. Either way…does it matter when Carla Goldberg’s work is so good.
The show is on view through November 12. Skylight Gallery is at 538 W 29 Street between 10thand 11th Avenues.