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Caroline Kent at Kohn Gallery


At Kohn Gallery in Hollywood, Caroline Kent’s abstract shapes dance above matte black backgrounds. In each painting, made at a large and consistent scale, geometric forms mingle and position across the canvas. Like the cut paper works of Matisse — Kent also begins her process with cut paper to sketch out her forms — Kent’s shapes have precise and clean edges, while smaller details, like a swarm of squiggles, float on the black ground to create subtle annotations, almost like punctuation. Together, her forms build together to create a lexicon, a library of forms that the artist re-arranges in each work to explore new connections and possibilities.

Kent explains in a press release that the black background is an effort to create an “unlocatability,” the blankness and depth of the black disallows any additional context to pinpoint the specifics of her abstractions, instead allowing her bold shapes to do all the talking. Still, titles like “A chart for disillusionment and chance” and “Notes on moving things out of one’s way” offer threads to the conversation that each painting is immersed in.

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Photo: Caroline Kent, “A Sudden Appearance of the Sun,” installation view. Image courtesy of the artist and Kohn Gallery.