The Gilded Lily
“I stopped in front of a florist’s window. Behind me, the screeching and throbbing boulevard vanished. Gone, too, were the voices of newspaper vendors selling their daily poisoned flowers. Facing me, behind the glass curtain, a fairyland. Shining, plump carnations, with the pink voluptuousness of women about to reach maturity, poised for the first step of a sprightly dance; shamelessly lascivious gladioli; virginal branches of white lilac; roses lost in pure meditation, undecided between the metaphysical white and the unreal yellow of a sky after the rain.” ― Emil Dorian, Quality of Witness: A Romanian Diary, 1937-1944
In Caroline Larsen’s inaugural solo exhibition, The Gilded Lily, she exploits the still life genre in the most delicious manner. Explosive, over the top, layered colorful bouquets spill out of decorative vases with enough patterning to make your head spin. In the true definition of gilding the lily, she spoils something that is already beautiful or perfect by amplifying its simple grandeur. Wholly contemporary with a nod and a wink to Northern European painting, these psychedelic images pack a wallop. Larsen is a maximalist, utilizing paint squeezed from an icing bag in thickly piled layers of pigment- building higher and higher as chromatic bouquets vibrate off their hypnotic backgrounds. Her bold and vibrating works will engage the viewer with dramatic effect while inspiring deep investigation of their color surfaces.
About the Artist
Caroline Larsen (b. 1980 Toronto, Canada) is a multidisciplinary visual artist, her main body of works is focused on paintings, but sculptural practice of ceramic and beaded objects. Larsen has a BA from the University of Waterloo, ON, Canada and Graduate Diploma in Visual Arts and Art History Education from the University of Auckland and received her MFA with honors at Pratt in 2015. Caroline has been awarded numerous awards from the Ontario Council for the Arts and scholarships from Pratt Institute. Larsen has always maintained a robust studio practice and has exhibited widely, she has had solo exhibitions at Andrew Rafacz in Chicago, Craig Krull Gallery in Santa Monica, General Hardware Contemporary in Toronto, Gordon Galleries in Tel Aviv, Dio Horia in Mykonos, Greece and at The Hole NYC in New York City.
Larsen had three paintings in “The Beyond: Georgia O’Keefe” at the North Carolina Museum of Art, a traveling exhibition curated by and beginning at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, AK, in addition to a solo exhibition at Wave Hill Public Gardens in the Bronx. She has participated in group exhibitions at Guerrero Gallery and Greenpoint Terminal Gallery and has work in the Dean Collection, the Aisthti Foundation, JB Art Collection Miami, TD Canada, the Donovan Collection, Microsoft and numerous other public collections around the world.