Carson Gladson, American (20th Century)
Carson Gladson, an internationally recognized landscape artist, won his first award for painting in a juried exhibition at the Long Beach Museum of Art at the age of nineteen. The museum's curator was sufficiently impressed by Gladson's extraordinary abilities that he bought a work for his personal collection. Gladson's reputation as a skilled and insightful painter has grown continuously. His work has been represented in numerous one-person and group exhibitions since that time. He has been a tenured professor of art for almost thirty years at El Camino Community College, the second largest community college in the United States, where he teaches painting, drawing and design. In addition, his work is part of the permanent collections of the Oakland Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Both Asian masters and French Impressionists infuse Carson Gladson's work although his compositions reveal a personal and unique view of nature developed during forty years of intense observation. Gladson's work is both pastoral and serene. Over the years, he has experimented with a variety of media as well as with various levels of realism from dream-like impressionism to enhanced reality to create images saturated in rich color and atmosphere.
An accomplished draftsman, painter and photographer, Carson Gladson has recently begun working with a technique he calls "transparent collage" -- a sophisticated computer technology. Through the creation of multiple layers of images originating from a multiplicity of his own paintings and drawings, and precisely controlling their density and opacity with even the deepest strata emerging, Gladson evokes a fantastical world for the viewer to explore. The enhancement by computer, printing and further working on the prints by adding pastel painting creates unique, original work which could not be accomplished using traditional methods. Gladson states, "I've taken subjects I find most compelling: the figure, the landscape, the detailed study and symbolic abstract forms, and combined them; not just side by side as in traditional collage, but fluidly and transparently, drifting together and showing through each other to enhance the meaning and beauty of each image."
The result is art with the serenity of a classical landscape combined with the depth, psychology, and imagination of pre-Raphaelite allegory -- an exciting mix of technology and technique, of sensitivity and skill.