Carrie Rudd

Vitals II

March 7 - April 8, 2023 

UNTIL IT IS NO LONGER ARBITRARY, 2022, oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches
121.9 x 91.4 cm / Photo: Steven Probert

Polina Berlin Gallery is pleased to present Vitals II, an exhibition of new paintings by American artist Carrie Rudd. On view from March 7 through April 8, 2023, the show is the second chapter of the artist’s two-part exhibition.

Rudd’s painting practice is deeply engaged with the possibilities of abstraction. Resistant to easy categorization, she actively synthesizes her thoughts as she handles paint on canvas: painting through to understand what she is painting, assigning frameworks for an idea within a deliberate compositional state. Hinging on a play of space and the physical manifestation of a thought process, the result bursts with fevered energy. Oil paint is applied, scraped off, and redoubled to conjure a quicksilver quality—flashes of light and motion reminiscent of a Stan Brakhage film.

With Vitals II, Rudd revisits the content of the first body of work made for this two-part exhibition. Referencing photographs of the many stages of her earlier paintings, she uses these formative iterations of the same idea to create a sense of pushing and pulling through; a sort of dialogue with herself that she leaves the viewer to make sense of. Eschewing anything literal or linear, Rudd subverts expectations and aims to surprise herself as she paints, coming against that initial mystery of an idea and the urge to create something that never asked to be born.

At the same time, however, her work accepts the episodic nature of art. By yielding to the truth that one painting can’t do everything, Rudd finds freedom to ramble wildly and explore. Hers is a search for unresolved notes and loose threads that she can follow onto the next and the next after that, never sure where she is being taken. In this respect, her works bridge a dialogue with painters such as Joan Mitchell, Charline von Heyl, and Rochelle Feinstein. All are artists who allowed space in their art for spontaneity to derail the original intention of a given work and, as Rudd herself puts it, to set out with the “hope each painting transcends the original impetus for the painting.” 

Fundamentally, Rudd sees painting as neither a catharsis nor a solution: to her, it is an intense undertaking that is as analytical as it is emotional. While she always handles paint in her particular way, as she works, she incorporates things she has read or seen as she works through her ideas and explores the possibilities of oil paint in tandem. The objective is to convey ideas about living that are conceptually rather than aesthetically driven. Her canvases communicate notions that are in flux and developing. She strives to create spaces where people can think, rather than telling them what to think—places of intellectual openness and experimentation. She illustrates how an idea becomes a thing.

Rudd’s mission to find and portray her own multifaceted voice from scratch in every canvas marks an almost quixotic quest. She posits creation as an act of relinquishing control. When her paintings are put before an audience, they are placed there with her understanding that she is vulnerable to being misunderstood and incapable of controlling any person’s interpretation of her work—and that this is the price of entry to any larger conversation.

- Cara Marsh Sheffler

Carrie Rudd was born in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York in 1994. She completed her MFA at Hunter College in 2021. Her work has been included in exhibitions at Hunter College, Hauser & Wirth, New York, and the Wellin Museum of Art, Clinton, New York.

Press Release


BOMB Magazine - Carrie Rudd Interviewed by Annabel Keenan

You Fuck With Her, I Fuck With You and Make You Watch, 2022, oil on canvas, 60 x 60 inches
152.4 x 152.4 cm / Photo: Steven Probert

Word Alert! Decorticate, 2023, oil on panel, 16 x 16 inches
40.6 x 40.6 cm / Photo: Steven Probert

"I (still) think it's just always and forever haha", 2022, oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches
121.9 x 91.4 cm / Photo: Steven Probert

Maybe There Just Is No Happy Middle Ground, 2023, oil on canvas, 54 x 48 inches
137.2 x 121.9 cm / Photo: Steven Probert