MIKE CARROLL is an artist who also writes and speaks on art, studio practices and exhibition spaces. He has exhibited widely throughout the Northeast and has had studios in Boston, Provincetown and Florida. His work is in numerous collections and has been written about in Art New England and Provincetown Arts, and artScope among other publications.
Carroll has been a gallerist in various forms for over 25 years. He attended Emerson College and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston until he became involved in Boston’s then thriving underground scene. He ran the live performance and video section at The Boston Film Video Foundation when video was in its black and white reel to reel infancy. Carroll opened his first gallery, The 11th Hour, near Boston’s South Station where he produced early exhibitions by Mark Morrisroe and performances by Human Sexual Response, Jack Smith and The Clam Twins, among others. Since then he has woven his own art making practice with fine art presentation in a variety of ways. He was the Executive Director at Provincetown’s Schoolhouse Center from 1997 through 2004 and has been the owner of the Schoolhouse Gallery since 2005 where he is well known for presenting the finest in collaboration and new thought in the gallery and at a variety of outside exhibition projects.
AT THE BERTA WALKER GALLERY AUGUST 15 – SEPTEMBER 5, 2020
THREE ONE PERSON SHOWS AT THE BERTA WALKER GALLERY
AUGUST 15 – SEPTEMBER 5, 2020
MIKE CARROLL/ SKY POWER/ PAUL RESIKA
Mike Carroll Hidden Forces at Play
Continuing the Season’s celebration of “First Landings” at Berta Walker Gallery”, we are delighted to welcome Mike Carroll as part of our “First Landings” celebrations. Mike Carroll’s paintings on wood are constructed from successions of shapes that stack, jostle, and intersect, like jigsaw puzzles – reflections of nature and our participation in it. Carroll refers to these paintings as “calendar paintings”, as they are “meant to be documents of a working painting practice, of a succession of days in the studio.” All are moods. Carroll paints stillness and subtle shifts in space in conversation. His multi-colored and “colored” black and white paintings “embrace imperfection, impermanence and the passing of time”. Mike Carroll’s paintings reflect his sense that “nothing exists by itself independently of the rest. Everything is related to everything else; nothing is isolated, a philosophy of Buddhism”. In discussing the difference for Carroll in the paintings focused more on black and white or exuding color, he observes that the gray paintings employ muted colors and close values like the landscape colors of Cape Cod as horizons mute into soft grays and blues vs. more intense colors that might relate to artificial light, other landscapes, or the clamor of urban life. When asked if he starts with color or shape Mike says, “I see space first.” Color and shape interact to approach a moment of critical mass designed to be completed by the viewer. During a studio visit with Michelle Weinberg for an article in Provincetown Arts, Weinberg notes: “This sensitivity to the hidden forces at play in each work and his vulnerability to the subtexts and desires exerted on him from each canvas cast the artist in the role of a tender nurturer of some form of natural phenomena. His process is a direct descendant and a personal innovation on Hofmann’s famous “push-pull” directive… Both methodical and fiery, Carroll’s paintings forge a delicate compromise between commerce and desire. They bode well for a career on an upward arc.”
Mike Carroll began studying art as a young person, continued his exploration at Emerson College and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and independently in Boston’s underground scene in the 1980’s and 90’s when he also ran galleries and alternative performance spaces. Arriving in Provincetown in the early 90’s he began a concentration on painting and has exhibited regularly throughout the Country.