Anne Marie Karlsen: Public Displays of Artistic Expression

Feb 20, 2018 - Mar 24, 2018

Santa Monica College Pete & Susan Barrett Art Gallery

1310 11th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Time: Opening Reception: Saturday, February 24, 5-7pm
Phone Number: (310) 434-3434

Between 1970 and 1985, academic fine art departments across the US enrolled a record number of students. These aspiring artists spanned the Baby Boom generation, many of whom went on to earn MFAs, becoming teaching artists, defining contemporary art in the postmodern era and, in turn, influencing the next generation of artists.

Given the unprecedented resources available to them, the best of the "boomer artists" produced work with an extraordinarily wide range of insights, ideas, variety, freshness, and technical experimentation. Anne-Marie Karlsen of Los Angeles is a leading example of this kind of artist.

Karlsen studied art at Michigan State University, later earning the MFA at the University of Wisconsin/Madison. Before graduating from UWM she was hired at UCLA in 1979 as one of the youngest female art faculty members in the art department's history. Karlsen currently is a full-time Professor at Santa Monica College. Producing a diverse studio output for more than 40 years, her work has been acquired by art museums throughout the US.

In addition, since 1992 Karlsen has completed almost thirty public and corporate art commissions around the USA. These works enhance various federal, state and civic spaces, such as administrative offices, transit stations, schools, and parking structures.

Viewers of this exhibition will encounter Karlsen's evolving use of drawing media, her channeling of traditional methods via digital reconfigurations - and her use of collage, illusionism and non-fine art materials. Moreover, this exhibition shows her re-orientation of studio methods to her larger scale of public art projects and how siting and audience can determine content.

A bright thread running through Karlsen's studio work done in a variety of styles and media is what she calls "my autobiographical inquiry." A child of Norwegian immigrants, her identity becomes a conduit for connecting to important subjects, including ethnic and cultural legacies, gender issues, social topics, mythological archetypes, and the cumulative and the weight of history and culture. Other interests driving Karlsen's art are the multi-level nature of the observable world and the "visual information overload" of modern life. She is indeed an artist for our times.

Event Type: Exhibition