It will take some time to see Carly Burnell’s paintings. Featuring layers of oil paint, wax, and silicone, the surface of Burnell’s canvases appear to be in a perpetual state of change. Subtle shifts in color, stroke, and transparency create a prismatic effect that captures and reflects light as if they were alive. These features also present a limitless potential for form but do not concede to any. The paintings offer topographic vistas and microscopic events.
Impressionism as a movement and style was made possible with the advancement of technology. That technology was mass-produced, portable, paints in a tube patented by American painter, John Rand, in the mid 1800s, that gave painters the freedom to travel and work en plein air in the source of their inspiration. The flux of light, time, and form, provided room for artists and viewers to fill in the gaps and feel the subject matter. What would it look like if one were to replace the physical source entirely with one’s own expansive mindscape?
By looking and painting from within, Burnell’s work impresses the ebbs and flows of her mind onto the viewer, an impression that another cannot fully flesh out. Defying recognition by sight, one is left with feeling. Invoking a Romantic approach, the paintings subsequently become mirrors through which the viewer imbues their own latent impressions and emotions. Even standing in front of them one will find resistance to a singular truth -shifting, absorbing, refracting, and ultimately peering back.
Carly Burnell is a painter from Santa Barbara, CA, living and working in Brooklyn, NY. She completed her BFA in Fine Arts at Parsons The New School of Design in 2015 and received her Masters in Studio Art from New York University in 2017. Burnell’s work has been included in several group exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami. Her work was shown in a solo exhibition at 80WSE Gallery Project Space, NY in 2016, and gallery cfcp, Brooklyn in 2018. She currently has work exhibited at The Wing Soho and The Wing Washington DC. Burnell is also a writer and performs with the Stanley Love Performance Group.