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Abstract painting with color blocks of different shapes overlapping in different orientations against...
From Artist, Caroline Kent
A woman in a denim jumpsuit in a studio. She is working on a collage on the table in front of her,...
Caroline Kent. Photo: Evan Jenkins
Multicolor, angular figures against black background
Caroline Kent, A Dark Hymn, 2021. Acrylic on unstretched canvas, 103 ¼ × 81 ¼ inches (262.3 × 206.4 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Casey Kaplan.

Artist Chat with the artist Caroline Kent.

Hill Art Foundation: The Hill Art Foundation champions artistic dialogue across mediums, styles, and time periods. Who is an artist—especially one you might not be immediately associated with—who inspires your work?  

Caroline Kent: Carmen Herrera. She was an artist who, throughout her life, never let her practice slip away. I am wildly inspired by her consistency to work in abstraction and to continue to pursue new compositions and geometries throughout her lifetime. I admire her consistency to stay committed to a practice that did not endure because of outside validation (for that validation didn’t exist for many, many, years) but solely on her personal dedication and constitution. She has taught me so much. 

HAF: A Dark Hymn: Highlights from the Hill Collection explores the process of collecting. Do you collect? What kind of work are you drawn to?

CK: The first piece of art that I collected a couple years ago is by the Chicago based artist Soo Shin. It is a small cement and stone sculpture of two hands–one is holding the other. I am drawn to small objects and drawings. Objects are easy for me to attach sentiment to. Drawings, on the other end of the emotive, are like records of the artists marks. That immediacy has always intrigued me.

HAF: The Hill Art Foundation’s Teen Curators and Educators wrote the wall label text to accompany works in A Dark Hymn. Can you tell us about a learning experience from your childhood or teenage years that has informed your creative practice?

CK: When I was in 7th grade our class had to make a leaf collection. We were all given books to identify leaves of different trees and we had to make a kind of binder and collect and record about 50 leaves. It was such a great assignment because it had to be done over the course of a few weeks. Every time I left the house, I was on the lookout to find a new leaf. That kind of looking, searching and recording was incredibly rewarding. I felt I had done important work and had the finished binder to remind me.

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