HANGING ON FOR DEAR LIFE: ANN CRAVEN AT KARMA
By: Zach Seeger
“It’s in the eyes,” a teacher told me about a Giacometti painting
that hung on the wall in his den. “The sitters stare blankly and persistent.
We stare back.” Ann Craven’s current exhibition “Animals Birds Flowers
Moons” at Karma, separated into three locations, is a series of paintings
of birds and other animals set against the moon that blearily share our
collective disbelief and exhausted gaze. Their eyes betray their awareness of
their privileged position as creatures that are free to move, travel, sit and do
nothing, hovering above a crumbling world. Craven masterfully accomplishes
this heightened aloofness not so much with the kitschy tropes of pre-teen
suburban mall posters as with the casual dispatch of sharp, luscious painting.
In insouciant calligraphic flourishes, her swooping brush strokes lather
the canvas, seducing the viewer. Colors ease unmediated from tube to
brush to canvas.
Woodpecker (and the Moon), 2021
Oil on canvas
84 × 72 inches