Cynthia Carlson, Sixish

Cynthia Carlson: Sixish (1975) Acrylic on wood
Title
Sixish
Date
1975
Medium
Acrylic on wood
Credit Line
Gift of the artist, 2011
Dimensions
28 ½ " x 25 ¾ "

With its thick layers of paint that resemble cake frosting, this work is at once playful and disturbing. Churning waves of gray seem to ooze from within, and the frame is a portal of tonguelike leaf forms. Carlson used a cake-decorating tool to pipe on the orange outlines. The artist has created a painting that has become an object, not as an imitation or reference to an object.

Carlson describes her inspirations as the "funky Surrealist tendencies” of American art. With her close friend Ree Morton, she taught at the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts), where she was a leading feminist voice among a group of women artists who asserted the power of decorative impulses, an aspect of Western visual culture traditionally relegated to women.

 

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