Neuberger Museum of Art
Purchase, New York
Cynthia Carlson Paintings: The Dog Show
Cynthia Carlson: The Dog Show is an exhibition that characterizes Ms. Carlson's ability to capture the idiosyncratic gestures and attitudes of our canine pets in paint. The exhibition will be on display at the Neuberger Museum of Art from May 9 through August 22, 1999. It will be open when the Greenwich Kennel Club hosts its annual Dog Show at the Purchase College campus on June 12.
The genesis of Cynthia Carlson's current series of dog paintings occurred as the result of this artist's personal observations of people and animals. She first began to notice that people often stop and engage in baby-babble with a dog being walked on the street. Ignoring the owner, they focus on an intimate encounter with the dog that exposes an emotional and humane inner self. To Carlson, this is evidence of an important humanizing role pets play with people.
Carlson once saw a huge Great Dane on a leash pulling his owner down Madison Avenue. The artist looked to see what could be so enormously interesting to the animal. She saw a tiny Chihuahua walking on the opposite side of the street about a block away. "How do dogs know other dogs," Carlson wondered, especially when the various species can be so different in appearance.
In this and other bodies of work, Carlson focuses on the presence of sentimentality in daily life. She expresses this through introducing humor, animation of form and decorative qualities that enliven the walls of a gallery. Since 1992, Carlson has painted hundreds of animal paintings, half dogs, and half cats. "I've only done one rabbit," she says.
From top to bottom: Untitled; Encounters, #5, 1998, oil on featherboard, 13 x 19 3/4 x 1 1/2 inches, courtesy of the artist.
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