Morgan Lehman is thrilled to present new works by Carolanna Parlato in Catch and Release, the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.
Known for her poured acrylic paintings featuring colorful biomorphic forms, Parlato’s latest body of work remains buoyantly playful but reflects a new interest in the architectural and minimal. These works convey a certain tension between the plasticity of liquid paint and the focused control of the artist’s movements as she confidently tips her canvases, guiding pools of pigment into brawny visual structures. Here, the entropy of process pushes up against forethought and calculation, composition taking place on the surface of the canvas in real time but also within Parlato’s committed drawing practice and with the help of computer imaging software. Keyed-up color and robust linearity point to the readability, immediacy, and graphic presence of many facets of popular culture including advertising, design, comic books, and animated cartoons. This insistence on the illustrative reenergizes the legacy of post-war abstract painting with Pop attitude and punch, a cooler take on the heat of painterly process. Parlato’s surfaces are glossy, sleek, and reflective, and in raking light reveal to the viewer layers and layers of paint buildup in thick ridges and contours. The unusual physicality of these planes of paint help complicate any simple gestalt readings of image, and instead inflect the works with a sculptural presence that is best experienced from multiple viewing angles and different lighting conditions. Forms seem to point to bodily protuberances and orifices, but also evoke architectural arrangements, inspired perhaps by the brownstones and urban industrial landscape of the artist’s Brooklyn neighborhood. Often employing only a few colors and compositional elements, Parlato’s newest paintings are efficient in their drama and demonstrate the sheer power of limits: just this much is just enough.
Carolanna Parlato received her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Her paintings have been written about numerous publications including The New York Times, Art in America, The Boston Globe, Artcritical, ArtNews, Two Coats of Paint, The New Criterion, and The Brooklyn Rail. Solo exhibitions include the Islip Art Museum; the Phatory (NYC); and Elizabeth Harris Gallery (NYC). Parlato has been included in group exhibitions at Morgan Lehman Gallery; Asya Geisberg Gallery (NYC); Lesley Heller Workspace (NYC); the Brooklyn Museum (NYC); the Drawing Center (NYC); Art in General (NYC); White Columns (NYC); the Hunterdon Art Museum (NJ); OH+T Gallery (MA), Scott White Contemporary Art (CA), Sandroni Rey (CA); Fullerton Art Museum (CA); and Amy Simon Fine Art (Westport, CT); among others. Public collections include the Brooklyn Museum; ArtBank Collection (DC); The Library of Congress (DC); Public Art for Public Schools (NYC); the Francis Greenburger Collection (NYC); and the Islip Art Museum. Parlato was a nominee for the Anonymous Was a Woman Award in 2016. The artist lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.