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... On the Other Hand: Carol Brown Goldberg at Addison/Ripley Fine Art

Addison/Ripley Fine Art is pleased to present ... On the Other Hand, an exhibition of paintings by Carol Brown Goldberg on exhibit from April 10 through May 22, 2021.

A couple of years ago, Chris Addison visited Carol Brown Goldberg in her Maryland studio and was concerned to see her hand and forearm encased in an elaborate cast. As they chatted, he noted that Carol, despite the obvious discomfort from her accident and the initial awkwardness of using her non-dominant hand, was still using her other hand to make doodles, patterns and designs on the sheet of paper beside her. She seemed almost to be doing it unconsciously. William Butler Yeats and his new bride Georgie Hyde-Lees engaged in a similar exercise in 1917 as described in “A Vision”, calling their efforts “automatic script”. While the Yeats originally thought of their communiques as channeling specific spirits, they generally felt that it allowed a deep spiritual communication between the material and the immaterial worlds. As an avid reader, Carol pursues that same hungry search for answers to large questions in books and through her art. Nearly all of the works on display in this exhibition are the result of the artist channelling new artistic energy through the use of her other hand.

While they have included one, large but related canvas, “I Learn To Seek What I Need to See”, as a reference point to connect with the artist’s earlier work, most of the works in this exhibition are much smaller. Many of those small works, however, are as dense, complex and elaborate as Carol's previous, “Entanglements” series. These smaller pieces exude primal energy. Often the paint flows over the front surface, down the canvas sides and pools beside the work. Enigmatic patterns in fine black line fills many of the white spaces of these works. The artist further emphasizes the three dimensional qualities of her paintings by framing them in deep boxes. The result is a collection of works in primary colors, thickly applied paints and fully engaged edges.

Carol Brown Goldberg
Carol Brown Goldberg

Carol's interest in and admiration of the artist in the CoBra School possibly informs some of her palette choices but the intricate black lines drawn into the white spaces in this work is more in keeping with M. C. Escher , fractal art and Cy Twombly painterly scrawls. Drawing into the white spaces, the artist both draws attention to the formerly empty spaces in the work and creates a mesmerizing but unifying element. By suspending the already dimensional works in glass covered box frames, the artist presents the viewer with a weightless work, exempt from the usual rules governing physical objects and very capably capturing our attention. By not taking what could have been a long break from art making due to her accident, the artist has pivoted in an entirely unforeseen direction, using her other hand.

Addison/Ripley Fine Art, located at 1670 Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown, is open by appointment Tuesday-Saturday, 11:00 am- 4:00 pm.

Please contact the gallery to schedule your visit: or 202.338.5180

*Masks/face coverings will be required to enter the gallery, and for the entirety of your visit.