Hidden Gems

February 8, 2023 - May 8, 2023
Nancy Dryfoos Gallery

About the Exhibition

Hidden Gems, freestanding sculptures inspired by rock structures created with multiple parts of cast, assembled and carved resin, may seem “preposterous and wondrous” according to artist Carson Fox, but they beautifully underscore that nothing is more perplexing, complex and extraordinary than nature.

From the outside, geodes appear as any common, ugly rock, but when broken open they reveal a charming display of crystals. Composed of quartz, the crystals can be microscopic or quite large. Geodes are the discrete bodies of mineral matter, commonly spherical, hollow and lined inside with crystals of various minerals. Each rock structure is unique in composition and can only be truly discovered when cracked open. Hidden Gems takes viewers into a world of rock structures, paying homage to nature’s raw power to create and destroy.

Selected Works

About the Artist

American artist Carson Fox’s work relies heavily on the imprint that individual
experience has on the artist, and centers on the production of sculpture,
installation, printmaking and artist books.

Fox received her MFA from Rutgers University, her BFA from the University of
Pennsylvania, and a four-year studio certificate from the Pennsylvania Academy
of the Fine Arts. Over her career, she has had thirty solo exhibitions and has
participated in over one hundred group exhibitions. Her work can be found in
the permanent collections of the Museum of Arts and Design, the Royal
Museums of Belgium and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Museum,
among others. Additionally, Fox has created multiple permanent installations of
artwork in public and corporate venues, including with the Metropolitan
Transportation Authority of New York, University of Arkansas, Temple University and Boston University. She has received honors acknowledging her accomplishments,
including international residencies in China, Wales, Germany and Belgium,
multiple artist grants and other awards, and has been invited to speak about her
career at universities and museums across the United States and abroad. Her
work has been reviewed in publications including The New York Times, The Los
Angeles Times
, The Washington Post and The New Yorker magazine.
Fox lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She is represented by Linda Warren
Projects, Chicago, Ill., Stanek Gallery, Philadelphia, Pa., and Cynthia Winings
Gallery, Blue Hill, Maine.

I am interested in beauty, but I mistrust it. Instead, I look for beauty that exists in the tension between nature and artifice, the awe of the visual spectacle, and humanity’s desire to bridle nature and time. As a child, I often fantasized about nature, and my determination of it – at least in my mind – fulfilled a sense of control that I
lacked in life. As an adult, I find myself returning to these concerns and using them as the subject of my artwork, while considering their larger symbolic relevance, both personally and societally.

Here, history preoccupies me in small and grand terms. My interest in time has been a consistent subtext of the natural forms I select – the formation of rocks and minerals, coral reefs, the rings of trees — all mark time.

In recent years, I have worked almost exclusively with brightly colored resin, in bodies of work that can be categorized as plant, sea and rock forms. Flowers interest me because of their transient nature, their association with memorials, and their potential as vehicles for riotous color, as I assemble them into wall installations composed of hundreds of pieces. Tree forms manifest as logs, cross-sections or sticks. When a massive backyard tree was cut down at my childhood home, I became intrigued by the trunk and the wavering network of rings that recorded the rainfall and hardships of every year. I realized this tree also told my simultaneous story, and with its demise, I had lost a witness. Sculptures of grasses act as stand-ins for human longing.

Coral forms draw upon themes of continuance, as they refer to reefs that are thousands of years old. Finally, freestanding sculptures inspired by rock structures are created with multiple parts of cast, assembled and carved resin. My goal is for them to seem preposterous and wondrous, to underscore that nothing is more perplexing, complex and extraordinary than nature.