Nick Carter

April 7-10

CMY Swatch (Smocked)
Dyed polycotton, thread, nails, 62" x 62"

Tonight is not the beginning or the end of the world
Dyed cotton, thread; 21" x 18"

Artist Statement

My practice is based in painting and printmaking, but connects with the approaches of textile-based artists, especially those who work in experimental weaving processes. What resonates with me is the way these artists balance design, improvisation, and loss of control. Each object becomes an exercise in compromise between idea and material, structure and chance.

I am interested in the objecthood of paintings, and this focus has led me to strip my practice down to fabric and paper, which I alter with dye and bleach. Paint on any surface involves something covered up, but dyed fabric is different. Water evaporates, leaving pigment and thread chemically bonded. An image can appear without adding any weight, and leave the surface flexible, to blow in the breeze or wrap around a body, where real and illusionistic space overlap.

In chemistry, the individual repeated unit of a pattern is called a mer, from the greek meros meaning share or part. The objects I make are attempts to explore my own lot—my ideas, memories, associations, and body—while also imagining how they fit into an infinite fabric around me. I approach the space of a canvas or sweatshirt metaphorically, as a microcosm of the world, like territory that gets divided up, equally or equitably. Each work becomes an index of my body’s negotiation with materials; my decisions, gestures, actions cut apart and rearranged, or folded up and steeped.