By the time Monet got around to painting pictures of haystacks, viewers pretty much knew that his works were not about farming.
All kinds of subjects, including perception, time, workmanship and mortality, as well as paint’s capacity to make and convey meaning, played into the Impressionist’s images of life in the French countryside.
Times have changed — and not for the better.
Today it seems that people look at pictures and see little more than what they depict, without bothering to pay attention to the hows or whys of the process. At Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Karen Carson’s new paintings of tractors, balers, combines and swathers go out of their way to make you wonder about everything Monet’s paintings of haystacks bring to mind — and a whole lot more.
Think of Carson as an Impressionist for the digital age. Her bold Pop paintings transform the instant access and immediate gratification of the Internet into a slow-growth love poem to sowing grains and making hay, as well as to other things that sustain us, like beauty and truth, not to mention pleasure and the sense of a job well done.