Carole Caroompas: Psychedelic Jungle / New Paintings /2004

September 18 – October 23, 2004 Reception for the artist: Saturday, September 18th 5-8pm.

Western Project is proud to present the first exhibition of paintings by Carole Caroompas in four years. Meshing images from Tennessee William’s, Night of the Iguana and the 1960’s psychedelic rock and roll era, the artist has created eight works examining themes of freedom and the search for home. Using a kaleidoscopic play of tropical and counterculture icons, the paintings pose the notion of ‘Eden’, but are countered with darker film noir images.  Caroompas weaves a 1960’s optimism with her version of vanitas and nature morte imagery, making notions of art and culture, literature and cinema collapse in a river of free floating association. Each work is a journey behind the veil of order; and each a lush and exuberant trip of possibilities.

Caroompas has traditionally challenged assumptions about cultural roles for men and women yet in these new works, her populous appears vulnerable and searching – faith, belief, a way to assimilate the tornado of imagery around them? Scenes from the Iguana movie interrupt Caroompas’ compositions as static but poetic visions – a couple floating hand in hand in the sea or feet walking on glass shards – agony and ecstasy as interchangeable? Echoes of our mortality? Punk icons, John Doe, Exene Cervenka, and Henry Rollins are the muses – the outlaw artists reminding us of freedom, of home as a creative process; not a place but a way of being. Caroompas’ new work is aimed at the big picture of living in this mortal realm, fervently in hope of connection with others and most importantly, ourselves.

Carole Caroompas has exhibited widely in the US including the Whitney Museum of American Art, LACMA, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, Corcoran Gallery of Art in D.C., and has been the recipient of numerous artist grants such as, National Endowment for the Arts (twice), The Esther and Adolph Gottlieb Foundation and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship.

For further information and visuals, contact the gallery at 310-838-0609 or