"Ogle goggle-eyed portraits and Remedios Varo-ish vignettes masterfully mixed from analogue and digital mediums" The description of my solo show, "Dissonance", chosen as one of the top ten exhibitions in New Mexico for the year of 2016.
"...Re: my favorite recent piece from your 'Contact Series", Cirque. I love the context of this series as a whole (centered on the power of moment to moment choices in relationships). What I appreciate most about your work is the beauty, empathy and even subtle humor with which you bring attention to our own role in the choices that we make and the inherent power in those choices. In today's world where we're able to react and respond immediately (and publicly!) to every measure of what someone says, does, doesn't do, wears, etc., judgement is the prevailing force. The lack of judgement in your work is what makes it so powerful, to me.
What I love most about Cirque (back lit canvas with painted and punctured mesh overlay) is the relationship between materials, technique and content. To me, the piece provides visual reference to the idea of moving and being moved, over the space of a lifetime. The mesh overlay, punctured against the back lit canvas begs the question, in real, tangible material: what if we could freeze moments in time and let the light of consciousness shine through the haze of metaphorical mesh that often clouds our judgement?"
Santa Fe, NM
July 04, 2016
"Your mixed media work is at once dramatic and quietly thought-provoking. Your vibrant colors, organic texture, and dream-like imagery produce a feeling of mystery and enchantment."
laura steward heon
director and curator
SITE Santa Fe 2007
"I think your images are amazing. 'Epilogue II' is an incredible image."
larry bell studios, taos, nm
“ Carol Coates´ pieces grab you and pull you into a space that feels like its own world. There are several large, somewhat holographic, images of bodies in motion, contacting and forming themselves around each other as if emerging from a seedling into a formed plant. The work is sensitively done with archival pigments on mesh, with an under-image just below the surface, which creates a visual vibration
las cruces bulletin
art5 warhol invitational 2007
"Your work is very impressive; very strong…an amazing technique...The theme of human justice and injustice is very difficult for Artists to portray. I have not known of any good image about this theme except Goya’s “The Third of May”…Now I know another.”
(re: “Judgement”, winner of the Bronze Medal in New Media at the Florence Biennale, Florence, Italy, December, 2003).
john t. spike, new york critic
director, florence biennale
"The work of Carol Coates, is extremely sophisticated and surpasses much of the work I've seen in New York and Chicago."
ray frost fleming, director
robert kidd gallery
“The commanding character of Coates’ Art owes to the imposing scale and skill with which she combines media and materials.Her creations touch the viewer’s eye, heart and mind.”
roger green, reviewer
ann arbor news,
ann arbor, michigan
"…if someone is 'way ahead of their time', for me, it’s being secure enough to follow your own inner path, inner voice, be as authentically true to yourself as possible, regardless of the cost and the circumstances, like one of my artists, Carol Coates..."
(Bliss Magazine, Winter, 2005)
craig liebelt, director
tadu contemporary art
santa fe, new mexico
CAROL COATES, A PERSPECTIVE...by Doug Bullis, Author of 100 Artists of the Southwest
"Every so often an artist comes along and breaks all the rules to devise something wondrous and inspiring...
An artist who doesn't need to resort to the identities and constraints of a collective style that's been given a label and therefore boundaries...
Who doesn't feel the need to decouple beauty and the sublime, and therefore doesn't need the artificialities of outrage to fill the emptiness that either beauty or the sublime suffer in the absence of the other...
Whose work looks nothing like the internationalized homogeneity that one finds in some of the mass-market art magazines...And who also doesn't flee to the opposite end of the scale, the constraining traditions of localization exemplified by the historical art of her home, Santa Fe.
Shorn of further prose, Carol Coates is a new set of glasses.
The briefest of glances observes someone who has thrown the linear conventions of flatwork into other dimensions to see how it fares. The result is delicity with high drama: unexpected shapes and forms, multi-dimensionality, a vision that changes as the body rather than the eye moves from one side to the other (and for that matter, up or down, and any combination thereof). Gauzy screens are painted and/or printed with semi transparent imagery that layers surface and color in such a way that it’s hard to distinguish which is surface and which is color. The lisajous shape of the easygoing serpentine fascinates her—she even makes her frames into wooden waves, if the imagery befits.
She knows the difference between a unity merged of many parts and a composite that keeps its parts distinct. Her imagery can be as lyrically realistic as a couple in the frissons of contact improvisation dance, and as surreal as a scarecrow doomed to never know any other reality than the inside of the bucket which covers its head (dogmatists please take note).
And then there’s her palette. She shuns the splashiness of expressionism and commercial design, preferring instead the earthy, the rich, the vespertine, the subaltern, and from these, the always unexpected. Her explorations of the benthic and the dark remind one of that other great voyager seeking out the truths in hue, Cristobal Balenciaga.
One can draw on the thinking of a good many artists to allude to where she fits within two polarities that dominate art today: identity with a historic continuum and celebrity’s preoccupation with 15 minutes of fame that in some ways is more an art form than any art it creates.
“Art takes note not merely of form but also of what lies behind.”
= Mahatma Gandhi [whose medium, of course, was an entire civilization]
“Art is walking into regions not ruled by time and space.”
“What moves [wo]men of genius (or rather what inspires their work) is not new ideas, but their obsession that what has been said is still not enough.” =Eugene Delacroix
“The beautiful in nature is found in the most diverse forms of reality. Once it is found it belongs to art, or rather to the artist who discovers it.” =Gustave Courbet
“Beauty is the beginning of the end for the terrors we are scarcely able to bear.” = Rilke
“There is no yearning for Paradise in my paintings. On the contrary they yearn for the possibilities of our ordinary humanity.” =Mark Rothko
“Every time an artist finishes a work they care for, aloneness loses a small piece of its power. We live in a lost time. It falls to our artists to piece the masks of social pretense and veils that occlude our inner light.” =Gabriel Shaffer
Art progresses astride Zeno’s arrow of time—it never stops and likewise never pierces anything. It is the memories we retain when we realize we don’t need them any more. It is the dignity of the less-than-shapely woman who knows the perfect drape and colors for the shape she does have. It is a beautiful spray of orchids in a clear vase. It manages to be both feckless and fickle at the same time.
It is the little girl in a coralline dress with a single giant bloom on the front. It is the short attention span that introduces you to wondrous things. And in the art of Carol Coates, art is the voice you hear when the still point of your aloneness turns into the turning point of your universality."
by Doug Bullis, Author, "100 Artists of the Southwest"