Cynthia Carlson, Sixish

Cynthia Carlson: Sixish (1975) Acrylic on wood
Acrylic on wood
Credit Line
Gift of the artist, 2011
28 ½ x 25 ¾ in.

With its thick layers of paint that resemble cake frosting, this work is both playful and disturbing. Churning waves of gray seem to ooze from within and the frame is a portal of tongue-like leaf forms. Carlson used a cake decorating tool to pipe 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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