KAREN HOLLINGSWORTH

American Art Collector - - Contents - KAREN HOLLINGSWORTH

Ex­pand­ing Se­ries

Through­out her ca­reer, Karen Hollingsworth has painted a num­ber of dif­fer­ent se­ries. Among her most rec­og­niz­able are her Win­dows­capes, plac­ing the viewer in a room where sto­ries un­fold in­side and out­side the win­dow, and her Perch paint­ings that fea­ture birds rest­ing atop any va­ri­ety of ob­jects. With each new ex­hi­bi­tion, Hollingsworth re­vis­its her se­ries, ex­pand­ing upon and adding to her ex­ist­ing oeu­vre. On Oc­to­ber 19, she will present her lat­est paint­ings dur­ing her fifth solo ex­hi­bi­tion at Shain Gallery in Char­lotte, North Carolina.

“I’m re­vis­it­ing a lot of the se­ries from the past, which are the ones de­pict­ing pa­per bags, matches, crayons, wa­ter spig­ots. They’re ob­jects I love to paint, but also paired with an an­i­mal—a bird or in­sect or a frog or some­thing—so it makes them a lit­tle more in­ter­est­ing for the viewer,” Hollingsworth ex­plains. She also will have a se­ries sans an­i­mals, where matches are in their var­i­ous states—fully ablaze, par­tially lit and with the smoke af­ter they have burned out.

An­other piece in­cluded is Pause, which is a new take on her Win­dows­cape se­ries. In­stead of the room be­ing brightly lit and breezy, the in­te­rior will be darker and out­side is a win­ter scene in­stead of the beach. “It kind of con­trasts a warm cup of cof­fee, a per­co­la­tor with steam and the

warmth of be­ing in­side the dark room of the in­te­rior ver­sus the stark white of the snow out­side,” she ex­plains.

Hollingsworth ad­di­tion­ally ex­plores the com­bi­na­tion of dif­fer­ent wildlife to cre­ate nar­ra­tives that touch on na­ture and hu­man­ity’s treat­ment of an­i­mals. “That’s sort of what I’m ob­sessed with right now, putting to­gether an­i­mals that are es­cap­ing from a bad sit­u­a­tion,” she ex­plains. “I do it in a way that’s not scary or threat­en­ing, but they’re all trav­el­ing at night un­der moons. They’re un­likely group­ings of an­i­mals, and usu­ally there is one lead­ing.”

In Lib­er­a­tion, a crow perches at the edge of a red boat, a ze­bra rides be­hind the crow and atop the ze­bra is a duck. To­gether they are sail­ing the seas and mak­ing their way to free­dom, as the ti­tle sug­gests. Panda Wagon, an­other of these works, de­picts a pen­guin guid­ing the way atop the back of a ze­bra that is act­ing as a work­horse by pulling the pan­das along in a red wagon. “A lot of my feel­ings about the way we as hu­mans are treat­ing our fel­low an­i­mals come out in these paint­ings,” Hollingsworth adds.

In all, the show will have around 18 new pieces, which will be dis­played through Novem­ber 1.

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44Lib­er­a­tion, oil on can­vas, 36 x 36"

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