Posts Tagged ‘Carla Goldberg’



May 3, 2012

Fissure IV


It’s late in the show but there’s still time to see Carol Flaitz’s recent work at Skylight Gallery on W 29 St.

I had an opportunity to talk to Carol about the origins of her work, her influences, and so forth. Let me say that I’m a big fan of her work and her attitude.

To distill this conversation into a single overriding concept, Carol’s work reflects the wonder of the universe and its exemplification through scientific concept into art.

Where did she come from? Strangely enough: ceramics. Why ceramics? Because a painting professor was insulting and derogatory, she switched to a different medium. I doubt that Carol was ever your everyday ceramicist, turning out pretty little pots and bowls. She made me laugh telling a story of how she burned down a kiln in Wales (her MFA is from the South Glamorgan Institute of Higher Learning in Cardiff) when she attempted a piece with porcelain, ceramic and stoneware clays. The kiln was a disaster but the piece was something of a success with molten areas where the clay simply flowed and other where the porcelain held it’s shape.

Carol’s paintings are all about science at the macroscopic and microscopic levels. She’s not terribly interested in the immediately visible. Working on wood (as opposed to canvas) she carves, drills and routs to create levels.

In some work, the Fissure series, she uses the mattest black possible, blocking all light and depth, to mirror the blackness of space and its perceptual infinity. You stare into these spaces and are drawn into them as much for the surrounding bands of color as for the utter blackness of their depths.

In other work, such as Nanofalls, she mixes acrylic paint and resin, giving us magnified nanosurfaces with the resin serving as the current flowing from point to point.

In yet other paintings, Carol has begun working with encaustic (see earlier article). Even in her encaustic work, Carol adds dimension to the wax, not by adding objects, but by building spot upon spot, layer upon layer of colored wax. Encaustic, as we all know, is a very difficult medium even when using the simplest pour, embed, melt techniques. When using it to create texture and surface, I cannot imagine the technical issues of spot surfacing.

I’m going to let you in on Carol’s next technical challenge: a painting which incorporates the black hole, acrylic, resin and encaustic. I’m sure we’re all looking forward to seeing it.

I believe that Carol is an immensely talented artist whose work will one day be in all the major museums. Meanwhile, do try to see Carol’s work at Skylight Gallery through May 5. If, by chance, you happen to be in Berlin on May 12, Carol’s work (along with Carla Goldberg’s) will be opening at the Kunstelben Berlin Gallery.


Group Show – New & Established Artists at Skylight Gallery

February 2, 2012


The January show is Carla Goldberg’s window for presenting artists who aren’t part of her regular stable. The constraint this year is that each piece had to be less than 30” and ach artist was restricted to two pieces.

The best of the best:

Carol Flaitz – Carol is an experienced and well known artist who exhibits regularly overseas and upstate, About a year ago, Carol started working with encaustic. Challenged by the medium, her work is different from other encaustic paintings. Principally, she deliberately uses the wax medium to create seemingly flat surfaces which are actually three-dimensional.

Carol’s work is inspired by very serious computer research but could equally well be grounded in astrophysical or submarine science. In her piece, Nanoscape, she has constructed a world of texture and color with life force. You can imagine the structures flowing and erupting from an underground source. This is a powerful piece which becomes more enticing as you study it – structure, color, flow, texture.

Nanoscape II is cooler and more contained. Instead of bursting forth, it’s about striation and leveling, very fissile and simultaneously watery. Again, an exciting painting grounded in opposites.

Carla Goldberg – Yes, herself. Carla presented earlier pieces which show how she developed her current style. These two pieces used canvas as the base for the paint, upon which she poured resin and added fibers. I still prefer the newer work but it’s most interesting to see how an artist develops.

Carla’s newer work is purely abstract but maintains her interest in water, texture and color through water. She has distilled her interests to their essence. In these older paintings, the same ideas are present but require a more physical manifestation.

Once again, being only able to post one image, I’ve chosen Nanoscape.

No rude comments about the rest but they weren’t up to the levels set by Carol and Carla. If you ask nicely, I’ll tell you the worst.

The show is up through Feb. 18. Skylight Gallery is located at 538 W 29 St., NYC.


Carla Goldberg at Skylight Gallery

October 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.



October 4, 2011

Carla has a show opening next week at Skylight Gallery. We had a long, interesting conversation about her work in mid-June.

According to her, Carla has been painting forever, even before studying formally.

Her bio shows that she’s very, very popular overseas with exhibits in Germany, South Africa, Switzerland, Turkey, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK. She’s been showing in the US too and is gaining traction with her American audience.

I’ve talked before about being fascinated by the creative process and development of style. As a graduate of a university art program, Carla was trained in the classical method, learning to use a variety of media: oil, ink, watercolor, acrylic, and so forth and learning to compose in figurative and abstract styles.

Carla is a deep, multi-faceted woman and so her influences are also complex. She’s a vibrant personality, with an engaging and ever present laugh, highly intelligent, and intensely creative.

As with so many women artists, having a family interfered with her time to paint – and so painting was put aside in favor of her children, her husband and an old house on the Hudson that needed restoration. Interesting that the house should be a source of inspiration. There was an old bathroom that needed a new floor, preferably tiled, but the economics were such that they put down plywood and painted it. Actually, she painted it time after time because the paint would get scratched from normal where and tear. One time Carla painted the floor in stripes and, liking the effect (after all, she is an artist), decided she needed t preserve it somehow. There was a can of clear resin around … and that was poured over the striped floor, very successfully preserving it with a shiny finish that looked somewhat different in different lighting. (The striped floor was also very slippery so it’s no longer with us). So there is one piece of the influence puzzle: the effect of light and shadow.

Besides being an influence, this discovery of resin inspired Carla to start working again, luckily for us art lovers.

Carla husband is very involved with reclamation of the Hudson River to an earlier, pristine waterway that won’t dissolve the kids if they go swimming. Have you ever known someone who lived by the water who isn’t fascinated by the way water moves? Another influence: the movement of water.

These two things led Carla to conclude that she should be using resin as the basis for her paintings since they would provide motion, depth, clarity and dimension. Initially, she would use a very thin removable base on which she would paint and pour resin. It went very well, the pieces were lovely and she was developing a real body of new work. Then it got hot, immensely, intensely hot – and the paintings melted. Oops, there was a downside to trying to have resin stand on it’s own, without a backing, in the heat.

It’s wasn’t fun for her to lose so much work, but it’s intriguing to see ideas develop. Nowadays, there’s a permanent acrylic sheet as the lowest layer of the paintings – and no issue with melting.

One of the things that has always irritated me about women artists (before you scream, most of the art I own is by women artists) is when they absorb themselves with “women’s” subjects: child-bearing, babies, households, and so on. For instance, there’s a painting at Montserrat Gallery that I abhor – a skeletal pelvis with a golden orb. You know exactly what that artist thinks is important – her reproductive organs, not her ideas, not her heart.

This is why I was disappointed in Carla’s earlier work – female torsos that somehow flowed under the water. I could see the quality, but I was disappointed in the vision. But last year Carla emerged from this female-focused cocoon and started doing work based on broader based ideas using color, clarity, depth, flow and shadow as manifestations of those ideas. You can see the spontaneity of the moment coupled with the eternity of the inspiration. Excellent work and, I hope, the mechanism to bring Carla Goldberg to the top tier of recognized artists.

Carla’s show opens on October 13 at Skylight Gallery on W. 29 Street between 10th and 11th Avenues.