Art of Carole Feuerman

by Stephen C. Foster

I believe Carole Feuerman’s art to be major art. Her statements are large, both literally and figuratively, and engaging because they invite complicity and resistance – confidence and cynicism. There is no right story, nowhere to begin from, other than one’s self, and no one to follow.

Someone said that nothing is as trite as the profound and nothing so profound as the trite. Our myths are part of our triteness – the cultural productions that map our “concepts” of experience and the conventions of our realities. They are no more and no less than reflections of the cognitive schemes by which we navigate our lives. We can take comfort in this, or we can take offense.

Much is made of Feuerman’s works in terms of their introspection, subjectivity and universality. According to the artist herself, the works embody serenity, tranquility, purity, and passion. However, these are only their exhibited properties, perhaps no more than the products of our emotional consumerism.

Viewers interested in the manufacture (artistic or otherwise) of our self-mythifications should be concerned about the cultural politics of these emotions, their use in the prosecution of majority culture, and their role in the enforcement of popular culture concepts of the “deep” and meaningful. On the other hand, we live our myths – not so much because we believe in them, but because they are our (universal) emotional currency.

Feuerman’s works are incomplete without these subtexts (the viewers’ responsibility), and the artist understands that looking at art should be as much a skirmish as an embrace. It is precisely in this – in their challenges and serious implications – that Feuerman’s works win their significance and our respect.