Block title

Work Samples

Sun Spot

oil painting
24" x 28", oil on panel, 2018

gingam test.jpg

oil painting
oil on panel, 18" x 20", 2018


18" x 20" oil on panel


oil painting
oil on aluminum, 12" x 12", 2018


About Carolyn

Baltimore County

Carolyn Case's picture
Originally from California, Carolyn Case earned her MFA from MICA's Mount Royal School of Art in Baltimore, MD, and her BFA from California State University in Long Beach, CA. She has shown throughout the Mid-Atlantic area, with solo exhibitions at Loyola University, McLean Projects for the Arts, and the Art Registry in Washington D.C. She has participated in two-person and group exhibitions at the Delaware Museum of Art, Wilmington, DE, A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, The Parlour Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY... more

Studio Walls

This series of paintings was an attempt to create a sense of potential and action in the paintings. The same way a marked up studio wall extends the action in the painting. I attempted to put the act of painting into the work by referencing the studio walls in the white areas around the central composition.

Homemade Tattoo

Asya Geisberg Gallery is proud to present "Homemade Tattoo", the second solo painting exhibition of Carolyn Case. Moving to a larger scale, the artist confounds expectations of expansiveness by covering discordant ways of painting with a skim of detailed dots, patterned veils, and washes, evoking textile, lace or aboriginal mark-making. Case’s work relies on a beguiling density applied from years of working and reworking a surface, and the constant push and pull of trying to gauge an articulated space out of a selection of suggestions. A leaf or a palm frond, a bisected jug, a coffee cup stain, or notebook paper page might come and go out of the diversity of painting approaches, sneaking in a familiar association of comfort and ubiquity. Each work implies a stunning resolve to erase and redo, coating areas in so many overlapping drips,scrapes, brush marks and dabs. And yet that workmanship interplays with the bravado of mechanical erasure – what took years to produce can be sanded away in mere seconds.

This wistful sincerity and simultaneous playfulness finds a fitting motif in the show’s title, “Homemade Tattoo”. A vision of earnest teenagers trying to carve a message they may soon outgrow confounds the expectation that tattoos are meant to last forever. Where before the dots in Case’s paintings could imply embroidery, doodling, or meditative abstraction, now we see skin itself present as a similar surface for an image constructed of sequential tiny dots. The body becomes a playground for aesthetic overhaul, but unlike a painting, we are only given one chance to get it right.

For Case, sanding acts as a metaphor for starting over and making new choices. The frequent motif of notebook paper acts as a fragile formal device where blue lines create an Agnes-Martin like pattern, as well as a suggestion of trying hard in school to get it right. Upon closer looking, one sees an awkward mirroring– as drips are hand-painted in a Rorschach-like repetition. Case titles her paintings after the myriad of influences of any one seemingly abstract gesture – the colors of her high school, the arrangement of knick-knacks in a home, the porousness of time, and the effort required as daily mundane tasks, repeated over the years, add up to the building of a life. In the bewildering complexity of Case’s paintings, small repeated gestures crescendo towards a hard-fought equilibrium, much as we try to steer our lives, in increments large and small, towards a larger meaning.

Heat and Dust

Asya Geisberg Gallery is pleased to present Heat and Dust, an exhibition of paintings by Carolyn Case. This will be the artist’s first solo exhibition in New York. In her new series, Case’s sojourns in the dusty urban environs of Tehran became the catalyst for a modified palette and conceptualization of space. Typified in the early work of Phillip Allen, Case’s schizophrenic counterpoints conjure ambiguous, implausible landscapes where suggestive objects conflate with eruptions of sprawling painterly debris. Like the Hubble telescope capturing our galaxy piece-by-piece, Case suggests an extravagant world outside of the picture plane. Divergent fields both coexist and contend, creating an elaborate multiverse within each painting. Dense areas spill over the panel edges, or are pushed back by abstractions seeping in, connoting vast realms curbed by the artist’s fragmented disclosure.

Case’s experience of the Iranian landscape resonates frequently within these new works. Throughout the city of Tehran, decaying architecture and objects both quotidian and revered coalesce under a perpetual cloaking of dust. For Case, this provides a visual homogeneity and intellectual unification for foreign bodies, shapes and forms, which the artist interweaves into each painting, allowing for more awkward bedfellows and intrepid juxtapositions. The patchwork walls of Tehran display a mélange of glaring inconsistencies, with mismatched colors, materials and finishes. Repaired brickwork frequently consumes areas of graffiti, leaving a vacuity between words, gesture and color. This mashed-up restoration becomes a poignant metaphor for painting itself, most evident in works such as “Wishful Building”, where a reluctant melding of gesture and semi-erased form evokes a decaying archway, exposing a serene rubicund horizon beyond.

Previous references to religious iconography, Andean textiles, and miniature painting remain, but are now broken apart and recombined with a shrewd eye and erudite methodology. In “Starfish Energy”, Case fires on all cylinders, creating a jarring synchronicity of references. Drawing our eye back to the center of the panel, a matrix of multifarious dots, leaching pigmentation, and sequential line-work lie suspended within a complex network of limpid rivulets, loosely obscuring the impasto brushwork underneath. Rainbow waves suggesting mineral matter lie at the tip of the crescendo, crowning a cascade of liquid strokes that superficially veil a space of questionable depth below. Here, Case stifles at least a third of the picture plane, where one could be mistaken for conjuring the shape of a tulip fromephemeral clumps of brushwork. These areas of bleakness reverberate with as much intensity as the raging cacophony below, highlighting further the signature heterogeneity with which the artist wields her brush.

Connect with Carolyn


Carolyn's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.