Kirstin Carlin

Bio.

How to look at a painting…

Modest in size, painted in oil on board and generally framed in a rough sawn pine, what is most evident in each work by Kirstin Carlin is a direct use of paint and a loose technique. Small impasto paintings manifest quick, thick and heavy applications of paint, energetic daubs are the traces of intuition, freedom and a heavily loaded brush. Taking as her points of departure recognisable subject matter and tested pictorial devices, Carlin pushes these further. Concentrating on simple formal components such as the placement of elements within space, these found images are translated into collections of quick, loose, and insouciant brushstrokes with both pale and gaudy colours. Pushing and dissolving the image to various degrees, each painting moves at once towards and away from an abstracted image. Habitual images then become almost unrecognisable, but not quite -an essence of a picture is maintained, with Carlin’s signature florid brushwork supplying the information. Viscous and creamy, earthy colours of ochre, mustard, rust and dirty brown are combined with acidulated blues, vivid greens, moody blues as well as pale pastels, washed out pinks, liliacs and greys.

Attending to unease, these dashing paintings are a bricolage of borrowed compositions and found images made exceptional and distinct. Rooted in histories of picture-making, the pastoral, the picturesque and the playful are rendered in impasto so that they become slightly awry, blurring good taste with bad, sincerity with irony and ubiquity with humour and adeptness. Stroke by stroke, sponteneity is painted through platitudes with splendid results.

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Kirstin Carlin (b. 1979) currently lives and works in Auckland and completed a Master of Fine Arts at Glasgow School of Art in 2010. She has exhibited works nationally and internationally in artist-run spaces, private galleries as well as public art institutions. A former member of Glasgow artist-run project Victor and Hester, her recent exhibitions include: Necessary Distraction: A Painting Show (Auckland Art Gallery, 2015-2016) Pleasure Garden (Melanie Roger Gallery, 2015), Other Avenues (Melanie Roger Gallery, 2014), 74 Heaton St, Christchurch: with Emma Fitts, 2014, Recent Paintings: Kirstin Carlin (Tristian Koenig, Melbourne, 2013), Shadow is Shade: Kirstin Carlin and Emma Fitts (The Physics Room, Christchurch, 2013), Shade is Shadow: Kirstin Carlin and Emma Fitts (Window, University of Auckland, 2013). Kirstin Carlin | Tessa Laird | Ruth Thomas-Edmond (Melanie Roger Gallery, 2013),  Kirstin Carlin (Parlour Gallery, Auckland, 2012), As Good as it Gets (Snake Pit, Auckland, 2012) and Timber Trophy with Carina Brand (Rm, Auckland 2011. Carlin has also exhibited at the Bethanien (Berlin), Centre for Contemporary Art (Glasgow), Victor and Hester (Glasgow) the Physics Room (Christchurch) and Snowwhite (Auckland). Carlin has received much recognition for her work, including Creative New Zealand Professional Development Funding (2009) and a William and Mary Armour Postgraduate Scholarship at the Glasgow School of Art (2009). Additionally Carlin’s work is held in major public and private collections including: the James Wallace Arts Trust Collection as well as that of the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Kirstin Carlin is currently working towards a solo show at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery in late 2016.

For additional information and a complete CV please contact the gallery.

Selected Media.

  1. LOOK AGAIN
    Sammy-Rose Scapens, Homestyle
    2015
  2. PAINTING IN THE PHYSICS ROOM
    Andrew Paul Wood, Eyecontact exhibition review
    2013
  3. FOR SOULS FOR WHOM EFFUSIVENESS IS EASY
    Abby Cunnane, The Physics Room
    2013
  4. PARLOUR PRESENTS KIRSTIN CARLIN
    Vera Mey, Parlour
    2012
  5. SPEAKING IN RAMAS
    Matt Blomley, The Physics Room
    2009
  6. SPEAKING IN RAMAS: KIRSTIN CARLIN AND KRYSTIE WADE
    Vanessa Eve Cook, The Physics Room
    2009

News.

  1. Kirstin Carlin | Pack Lite | NY, LA & Auckland
  2. KIRSTIN CARLIN | Molly Morpeth Canaday Award Winner 2017
  3. Kirstin Carlin & Richard Orjis | The First Flower People | Nathan Homestead
  4. Kirstin Carlin | Through The Trees | Dunedin Public Art Gallery
  5. Kirstin Carlin, Kristy Gorman & Peter Gouge | Painting Programme | Wallace Trust Gallery
  6. Female representation in New Zealand Galleries
  7. Kirstin Carlin & Emma Fitts | Necessary Distraction Publication
  8. KIRSTIN CARLIN & EMMA FITTS | Necessary Distraction | Auckland Art Gallery
  9. Florence and Friends | Flotsam and Jetsam Pop-up Project
  10. KIRSTIN CARLIN | 74 Heaton Street, Christchurch
  11. KIRSTIN CARLIN publication
  12. Winter Solstice Public Programmes | Gavin Hurley & Kirstin Carlin
  13. KIRSTIN CARLIN | Physics Room Supporters Edition
  14. ART NEW ZEALAND Magazine texts
  15. Kirstin Carlin | Art New Zealand magazine