Karen Black’s artworks hover between figuration and abstraction. A sense of theatre is created in Black’s paintings and ceramics as obscured faces emerge, or are dissolved by, patches of vividly coloured, dripped and daubed paint. These characters appear in the depth and texture of the painted surface or in the striking silhouettes of her nervously balanced ceramic assemblages. Black’s subject matter fuses the historical with the mythical and the political with the personal as she examines tales of separation, isolation, loss and violence.
Select solo exhibitions: The Cook and Her Driver, Karen Black and Virginia Leonard, Gertrude Glasshouse, Melbourne, 2020; Riding a blue horse, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2019; An Ordinary Poetry, Sullivan+Strumpf, Singapore, 2017; Temporary Arrangements, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2017; Crown, Legs, Arms, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2016; Making Do, Sydney Contemporary, 2015; Piece of Wood, Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney, 2015; Peace is guilty, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2014.
Select group exhibitions: The Archibald, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2021; The Archibald, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2020; Craftivism. Dissident Objects and Subversive Forms, Shepparton Art Museum, Victoria and touring nationally, 2018-2019; Beyond Reason. Exploring the logic of the imagination, QUT Art Museum, Brisbane, 2018; Shut Up and Paint: NGV Collection, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2016; Painting, More Painting, ACCA, Melbourne, 2016 and Borders, barriers, walls, Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA), Melbourne, 2016.