Von Lintel Gallery | Los Angeles


Von Lintel Gallery is excited to announce our third solo exhibition with Carolyn Marks Blackwood. Critic Carter Ratcliff says of this body of work that “Blackwood’s subject is water: flowing, frozen, and ascending in the vaporous accumulations we know as clouds. Her images of water imply the other elements—earth, air, and fire—but this is not immediately obvious. On first encounter, we are struck by the beauty of her work. Blackwood photographs the Hudson from a bluff on the river’s east side. Each time of day generates its own palette.

When seasons change, ripples turn to shards; colors shift to icy whites and grays and blues. It is winter and water has become a solid, at least on the surface of the river. Yet the fragments in Blackwood’s photographs of ice do not quite count as objects. In their profusion, they are more like the glittering stuff of currents that refuse to stop flowing despite the frigid weather. Eddies of energy surge through all these images, sometimes turning back on themselves and sometimes reaching from edge to edge.

Many of the winter photographs are entitled Ice Cubism, fittingly so, for their shards resemble the fractured planes of the Cubism invented by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque in the early years of the 20th century. In their paintings from that time, form can be seen as abstract or obliquely representational. Blackwood’s photographs of ice are of course minutely accurate and yet, like the water images, they invite us to see them as abstractions: displays of sheer form. These forms are endlessly engaging on their own complex terms, apart from subject matter, yet precise renderings have their own allure. The preternaturally sharp focus of the artist’s lens helps us focus on details of ice and water that we ordinarily miss.

Yet nothing, no matter how precisely rendered, simply is what it is. The colors in Blackwood’s pictures of ripples imply the sun—that is to say, fire. And these images also imply earth, for liquid water takes its transient shapes from the land through which it flows and, at the scale of the ocean, surrounds. Her cloud, majestic and seemingly solid, is of course a mixture of air and vaporized water. Air, earth, fire, and water . . . fully seen, Blackwood’s art encompasses the natural world. In a word, the cosmos.”

Blackwood’s photography has been exhibited nationally and internationally for the last 15 years. Her work is held in multiple public collections, such as the Museo de Corpo in Spain, the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC, and the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, NY, among others.





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