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Karen Carson's Art

July 16, 1994

In her review of an important new show by artist Karen Carson, Susan Kandel misreads irony and sarcasm in work that is baldly sincere, tremulously honest and blatantly spiritual ("Beautiful Photographs of a Beautiful World," June 23). When she claims that Carson's past work has relied on "marked sarcasm," Kandel shows that she has no understanding of the history of an artist whose work has always been daringly earnest and pointedly direct.

Carson's stripped-to-the-bone graphic medium presents her simple message: "You are a soul." Carson's radical work is an obvious rebuttal to the political hectoring of recent art by Barbara Kruger and Jenny Holzer. It conveys a spiritual message in a graphic style that everyone can understand. That Kandel finds it "sarcastic" is completely wrongheaded and truly appalling. Kandel needs to take a closer look at Carson's startlingly spiritual banners and posters.

MICHAEL DUNCAN

Los Angeles

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