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Carl Chiarenza
The Nature of Abstraction

Carl Chiarenza has been exploring the nature of abstraction for over 50 years. In his early work the shades of light are explored along with edges and boundaries. The way that one region of the frame is separated from another - in a stain, a ray of light, a crack or a metallic edge - causes a junction of exploration. Differing textures around these fractures respond to light in diverse ways and the patterns, shapes and forms pull one into a world of shadows.
As we go through the work chronologically (I‘ve organized this exhibition so that the flow leads to the most recent work) you can see trends from objects in the physical world - for example hands and an industrial gauge - through the selected areas of the natural forms such as rocks or flora where his selection forces the perception of scale to be ambiguous and meaningless - the patterns are the important element. When Carl moved to photo collage, objects were selected and photographed so that the very essence of the objects‘ reflectivity would summon us into a world that is a meditation on the abstract. Some series have names such as Peace Warrior or Solitudes, and the collages have the shapes, and possibly the features, of a character such as Don Quixote or a Samurai but that is only at the surface. They are not the character but an evolved abstraction of one.
Alan Griffiths (Aug 28, 2007) 



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