Solo Exhibitions2018 In the Spaces Between, KP Projects, Los Angeles, CA
2017 Mysmemorphia, The Blue Azul Collection, San Diego, CA
2017 Shadow Discarnate, KP Projects, Los Angeles, CA
2016 Sky Without Angels or Stars, KP Projects, Los Angeles, CA
2015 Carbon, KP Projects, Los Angeles, CA
2014 Inseparate, Merry Karnowsky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2013 Speculations, Merry Karnowsky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2012 Grey, LAUNCH, Los Angeles, CA
2012 GaGa Gallery, Insa-dong, Seoul, Korea
2012 MayJune Gallery, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea
2011 Specifically Ambiguous, LAUNCH, Los Angeles, CA
2010 Scaped, LAUNCH, Los Angeles, CA
2009 Observations, Lawrence Asher Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2008 Black-and-White Paintings and Color Photographs, Four Walls, San Diego, CA
2006 A Travel Log of Fireflies, Four Walls, San Diego, CA
2005 Pattern and Contrast, Four Walls, San Diego, CA
Group Exhibitions2018 Group Show 2018, Craighead Green Gallery, Dallas, TX
2018 The 10x10 Exhibition, Abend Gallery, Denver, CO
2018 The LA Art Show, with KP Projects, Los Angeles, CA
2017 Annual Group Exhibition, Craighead Green Gallery, Dallas, TX
2017 Palm Springs Modernism Show, with the Blue Azul Collection, Palm Springs, CA
2016 All That Glitters, KP Projects Chinatown, Los Angeles, CA
2016 Final MAS Attack, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA
2016 Art San Diego, with the Blue Azul Collection, San Diego, CA
2016 Seoul Art Show, with CK Artspace, Seoul, Korea
2016 Asia Contemporary, with CK Artspace, Hong Kong
2016 Seoul Open Art Fair, with CK Artspace, Seoul, Korea
2016 MAS Attack, San Diego, CA
2015 Annual Group Show, Craighead Green Gallery, Dallas, TX
2015 California Light, Sturt Haaga Gallery, La Cañada Flintridge, CA
2014 Praeteritum, Nunc, Futurum, KP PROJECTS / MKG, Los Angeles, CA
2014 Small Things, Craighead Green Gallery, Dallas, TX
2014 Group Show, Craighead Green Gallery, Dallas, TX
2014 A Rare Glimpse, City of Brea Art Gallery, Brea, CA
2014 Silicon Valley Contemporary, with Merry Karnowsky Gallery, San Jose, CA
2014 LA Art Show, with LAUNCH, Los Angeles, CA
2013 Group Show, Craighead Green Gallery, Dallas, TX
2013 Fountain Art Fair, with CK Art Space, New York, NY
2013 Palm Springs Fine Art Fair, with LAUNCH, Palm Springs, CA
2013 Beyond Plots, NSA&D Faculty Show, San Diego, CA
2013 Worlds Apart Fair, with Charlie K. Art Space, Singapore
2013 LA Art Show, with LAUNCH, Los Angeles, CA
2012 Vale Fine Art, Paso Robles, CA
2012 Tarfest, Juried by Holly Harrison of LACMA, Los Angeles, CA
2012 ArtPad SF, with LAUNCH, San Francisco, CA
2012 Hong Kong Contemporary, with Charlie K Artspace, Hong Kong
2012 Seoul Open Art Fair, Seoul, Korea
2012 LA Art Show, Modern and Contemporary, with LAUNCH, Los Angeles, CA
2011 MK2 Projects, Los Angeles, CA
2011 ArtPad SF, with LAUNCH, San Francisco, CA
2010 Tarfest, Juried by Edward Robinson of LACMA, Los Angeles, CA
2010 Los Angeles Juried Exhibition, Juried by Franklin Sirmans of LACMA &
Allie Subotnick of the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles Municipal Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2009 Context and Construct, Lawrence Asher Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2008 Aboutness, SB London, Los Angeles, CA
2007 Juried Group Show, District 117, San Diego, CA
2006 Stephen Beck Gallery, Santa Ana, CA
2006 Monarch Fine Art, La Jolla, CA
2006 Gifted, Four Walls, San Diego, CA
2006 Adorn, San Diego, CA
2006 Truck Show, Thread, San Diego, CA
2006 Space, San Diego, CA
2005 Adorn, San Diego, CA
2004 Adorn, San Diego, CA
EducationMS Neuroscience, University of California, San Diego
BS Psychobiology, University of California, Los Angeles
PressArtScene, "Continuing and Recommended," May 2017.
Diversions LA, "KP Projects Dazzles", August 2016.
Artsy, "There Is No Los Angeles: Todd Carpenter Grays Out L.A. for His New Solo Show", July 2016.
Section 8 Magazine, "Todd Carpenter - Sky Without Angels or Stars & Vonn Sumner - To Be Seen", July 2016.
Los Angeles Times, "Todd Carpenter on art, neuroscience and seeing the light", August 2015.
WideWalls, "Deedee Cheriel and Todd Carpenter On Show at Merry Karnowsky", August 2015.
Hi Fructose, "Opening Night: Edward Walton Wilcox and Todd Carpenter at Merry Karnowsky Gallery", June 2014.
New Times SLO, "Anatomy on Acid", February 2012.
FABRIK, "Todd Carpenter, Painter of Light", December 2010.
Off-Ramp, interview with John Rabe on SCPR, November 2010.
ArtScene, "Continuing and Recommended," July/August 2008, p.28.
San Diego Visual Arts Network, "Raw: Out and About at the Galleries," June 2008.
California Home & Design, "The Light Touch," May 2008, p. 68.
San Diego City Beat, May 28, 2008, p.19.
San Diego City Beat, "Preview," November 2006.
La Jolla Village News, "Talk of the Walk, Galleries Pour It On," October 5, 2006.
University Heights News, "March Exhibition at Space," March 2006.
San Diego Architecture Downtown guidebook, cover photograph, 2005.
In the Spaces Between, June 2018:We know things. The smallest personal details are easily acquired and accumulated. We see the world and seek smaller, pruning all into tiny categories observed through our microscope that points away from that which is larger. Trees, for example, are familiar to us: we can label the parts, count the rings, distinguish the species, calculate the yield in board feet. We mentally pick them into component parts, whittling down to twigs and leaves, then assigning a word to label each level of dissection. The specialty of our species is specialization. The larger, on the other hand, is not as easy to grasp. What is a forest? What is a landscape, this thing that transcends its details and encompasses subject as well as object?
We think we remember what a forest is. We see the trees and believe that if we add up their numbers they will equal forest. But the forest is more than its details, it is in the spaces between the trees, lingering among the shadows that seek to merge with the shadows of our imagination. One must decode the patterns of light and dark to find it, and there too one might encounter oneself, recalling beyond recollections to a time before humans lacked words to name trees but knew the shelter of their shade. It is the same with any landscape: we perceive a landscape differently than the details that comprise it. The landscape is perceived as a whole, as an arrangement of entities without identities, and most significantly the landscape is a place of which we are a part. To perceive the landscape is to perceive space, which is not the perception of things but of where things are relative to ourselves.
That self itself may be the problem. We miss the landscape because of the details, and of those details that distract perhaps the greatest is our ego, for when we dissect we too are dissected. We label ourselves with a tag on a pin, letting a word distinguish self from surroundings. We are trees that have been dug up from the land to be carved into an effigy that is placed on a pedestal, raised above all else and also consequently out of touch with the earth. Our roots fail to bind the landscape to us. We have forgotten even what it is to be an uncut block of wood.
Perhaps with these paintings I am trying to return to the forest, to capture that which is greater than its constituents. These paintings, made in disregard of detail, are scribbled paths of paint in pursuit of the light and shadow that define a place. They are depictions not of trees but forests, not buildings but cities, and not even landscapes so much as the feelings a landscape can evoke. These are attempts to portray what it is to be somewhere, in a place of which we are a part. They are the appearance of something that isn’t a thing, they are the forest between the trees.
Carbon, 2015:As a painter, I am particularly interested in the depiction of light, and in the ways in which light contributes to our experience of paintings.
As with any visual art, painting obviously has an essential dependence on light, but there are other, more specific ways in which light is important for paintings. In particular, the depiction of light is crucial for realism. Realism in paintings presumably arises from the accurate portrayal of depth: to see a painting as realistic means to see its subject as existing in more than just the two dimensions of the picture plane. There are several mechanisms by which humans perceive depth, one of which being the detection of lighting cues. The behavior of light in space, generating features such as variations in shading and contrast, tells us about the three-dimensional arrangement of our surroundings. Artists have long used the depiction of these illumination phenomena to impart realism to depicted scenes.
Another manner in which light contributes to paintings is through its ability to impact emotion. The lighting of our surroundings can evoke human emotion, as clearly evidenced by the influences sunsets, candlelight, and darkness can have on us. Effects such as these suggest that our perception of light might be connected to primitive instincts, with light possibly signaling environmental variables - such as shelter, nightfall, or warmth - that were once crucial for survival. The depiction of certain lighting conditions in a painting might have a similar ability to modulate the perceived significance of the represented scene and thus contribute to the emotional impact of the painting.
One reason why I paint in grayscale is that it is suited for the portrayal of light. The lighting features our brains rely on for the perception of depth are apparently built primarily on tone rather than hue. This idea is supported by research in neuroscience that suggests that the areas of the visual system that process spatial relationships are to some degree distinct from areas that encode the colors and details used to delineate specific objects. By painting in grayscale I am attempting to interact with this part of our visual system, with the hope of imparting a degree of realism, and perhaps also conveying some of the emotional significance that light can imbue on places.
It is through light that we see the world, but light itself is also seen, with an impact independent of the objects that project it. Light is both the crisp contrast of a back-lit forest and the gray haze of an industrial landscape, its perceptual power being what transmits the distinct atmospheres of such scenes to the viewer. This ability of light to effect us is the connection between the diverse subjects depicted in my paintings.
The title of this exhibition refers to another commonality shared across its varied subject matter: the chemical element that is both the foundation for the ecosystems of this planet and an agent for our harm to those ecosystems, and which is also the essence of the black pigment used for these paintings. In keeping with this chemistry, the titles of the individual paintings are based on the names of organic molecules that naturally occur in certain plants. Being organic according to the technical use of the term, these molecules - not unlike the paintings they name - are built from a skeleton of carbon.