Digitally printed handmade leparello with ten images on one side and story text in ten parts on the other, 4.5 x 6 x .6 inches, Edition of 20. $125
I raise my hand before I speak (from the School Rules series), 2008
Oil on wood, 9.8 x 13.25 inches. $650
Carolyn Prescott is a narrative painter whose concerns range from the intimate dynamics of the family and schooling to the public arena of science and geopolitical actions. She engages these topics through various genres: the traditional Latin American retablo tells the story of the U.S. overthrow of fourteen foreign heads of state; a series of simulated school slates reveals how we internalize and model ourselves on â€śschool rules.â€ť Another series draws on both personal memories and the familiar childhood trope of the â€śwonders of science.â€ť The resulting panels, which feature scientific principles and discoveries such as the Copernican revolution and the electromagnetic spectrum, contemplate these received ideas with pleasure even while suggesting the ambivalence inherent in the â€ślearning situation.â€ť
The figure is integral to Prescottâ€™s work. She draws from life–on the subway and bus, in waiting rooms and cafes–and from imagination, filling sketchbooks with fleetingly recorded faces and bodies, some of which make their way into small painted portraits.
Carolyn Prescottâ€™s recent, three-dimensional work employs altered cardboard or wood boxes–painted, papered, cut or hung with rods and curtains–as stages for puppets and paper dolls. These pieces, some of which reference specific poems, query the slippery self–its mechanisms of performance and its tricky, though earnest, guises.
Carolyn Prescott was born in Columbia, S.C. in 1950 and grew up in Durham, N.C. She earned a BA from Duke University in 1973 and an MFA from Bard College (Milton Avery School of the Arts) in 1987. She has had solo exhibitions in the following galleries and non-profit spaces: Women & Their Work, Austin, Texas, 1990; Galeria sin Fronteras, Austin, 1993; James Gallery, Houston, Texas, 1997; BĂĽhne 8, Cottbus, Germany, 2003; Finanzamt Landes Brandenburg, 2005. Multiple works by Prescott were featured in each of the following group exhibitions: New Works by six Austin and Central Texas Artists, Laguna Gloria Art Museum, 1992; Small Works, Inman Gallery, Houston, 1993; Profiles IV: Work by Texas Recipients of the Visual Arts Fellowship Award, Mid-America Arts Alliance, National Endowment of the Arts, 1994; Aktuelle Kunstpositionen von 1990 bis heute, Dieselkraftwerk Museum, 2006; Attract, Repel, Central Booking NYC, 2011. She also worked for many years as an editor and developer of education materials for the teaching of science. She lived in Austin, Texas for many years and now resides in Berlin, Germany.