Saturday, October 21, 2006

Carol Radsprecher

I have added the painting above to our collection – by adoption. It’s been a learning experience and a joyful one.

First, I better tell you about FAAN – the Fine Arts Adoption Network. It has been initiated by artist Adam Simon with a mission to connect artists and potential collectors.

Adoption means acquiring an artwork without purchasing it, through an arrangement between the artist and collector. FAAN’s goal is to help increase and diversify the population of art owners and to offer artists new means for engaging their audience. The copyright is owned by the artist, of course. The collector owns the painting itself.

First, there’s the “arrangement.” FAAN asked me to initiate an e-mail conversation with the artist whose work I selected. I wrote an introductory note to Carol Radsprecher about her painting, “Carcinaquaria with Toys.” She e-mailed back – from the Brooklyn Public Library. We’ve traded e-mails a dozen times, getting used to one another, exploring each other’s quirks.

She wrote me, “I am the most citified human on earth, at least as regards New York City. I was born and remain in Brooklyn, as my bio said; Brooklyn Heights, actually, which is very much Manhattan in terms of the inhabitants.”

Carol got her MFA in painting from Hunter College, CUNY, in 1988, after receiving a BFA in painting from Hunter in 1985. She’s painted for many years and had solo exhibitions in the Pierro Gallery at South Orange (New Jersey); the Garrison Art Center (Garrison, NY); Get Real Art Gallery (New York City); and Thompson Park Art Exhibition Series (Lyncroft, NJ). You can see her list of shows and juried exhibitions here and more of her pieces here.

Then I got the word from FAAN: Congratulations on adopting “Carcinaquaria with Toys” by Carol Radsprecher!

“Carcinaquaria” is part of an on-going series of oil paintings on canvas (like her “White Floaters” on this page). Sexuality is explored, as well as playing around with line. Carol’s statement on NeoImages explains the general background of the series:

Everything—everything—on earth has a shape, whether we can see it naturally or with the help of microscopes and other mechanical means. This idea that nothing physical can exist without having taken a shape (usually comprised of smaller shapes) is the impetus behind many of these paintings. I begin each painting with a series of repetitive lines, aiming for a complex field of linear and color-formed shapes.

“…playing around” is a key phrase – and it has taken me a couple of days to get used to having a genuine Radsprecher painting here in Houston.

If somebody (maybe Bob Fusillo) has already said that art teaches you about yourself, then I apologize to him or her. But continually looking at "Carcinaquaria" for the past three days has informed me considerably.

I discovered that I am used to, and gravitate toward, the dramatic in modern painting. Carol’s painting has less drama than I expected…but much more sly humor in it and that makes me smile.

Barbara insists the light comes from the lower left (if there is indeed an imaginary light casting shadows); I believe it comes from upper right. And maybe there is no light at all. The title helps: does it have something to do with smoking? I haven’t confirmed this yet with Carol.

Thanks to FAAN for facilitating and Carol for letting me adopt her painting and bring it south, because I'm increasingly seduced by its technique, its charm and its crafty ways.

“Carcinaquaria with Toys” by Carol B Radsprecher, oil on canvas, 20 x 20 inches. Now in the Collection of Richard Laurence Baron & Barbara Nytes-Baron.


Carol Radsprecher said...

Richard, what you wrote about me and my work is very beautiful--and very much appreciated by me. Re the title “Carcinaquaria,” it derives from “carcinoma” and “aquaria” (the little biomorphic things floating around, as fish in an aquarium). The “carcinoma” part is from my obsession with cancer (I did also have Stage 1 breast cancer seven and a half years ago, and counting!).

S Reeves said...

Her work is the best I've viewed on the current FAAN site. Love the activity, colors and happiness it brings to me. Congratualtions on your adoption.