Berries for Baubo offers up divine nectars--juice, blood, milk, wine--from the breast, from the seed, and from the roots. It is birth, explosion, and expulsion. It is woman, beast, and god. It is red.
Alexandra Carter’s latest body of work explores fertility in terms of agriculture and the female body. Her paintings, made with layers of puddled pigment and collaged imagery on translucent drafting film, mimic explosive, liquid bodies splashing out of their own skins. Influenced by folklore and mythology, she quotes deities of jest, filth, lust, and light. Baubo, the exhibition’s fitting namesake, personifies the celebratory nature of the approaching harvest season, alongside a certain burlesque attitude. Women perform a sumptuous dance between maiden, mother, and crone. Wanton figures of myth and fairytale embroil themselves within the monstrous feminine and the maternal grotesque.
Carter comes from a family of cranberry farmers in New England. The berry is a repeated icon in the artist’s visual lexicon: the fruit is like a garnet ambrosia, an exalted potion that seeps through all the works and intoxifies its subjects. Photographs of berries and botanical illustrations replace and adorn parts of the female body. Breasts become globular appendages that bubble up, guzzle down, shrivel, leak, and lactate. Carter also uses cranberry as a medium; in some of the works the juice stains antique linens, connecting the mark to an intimate bodily history.
Alexandra Carter (b. 1985 in Boston) lives and works in Los Angeles. She received an MFA from Goldsmiths University of London in 2015 and a BA from Rhodes College in Memphis in 2009. Berries for Baubo is Carter’s second solo show with Radiant Space, following All gods are hot in 2018. Other solo exhibitions include Fusion Gallery (Turin, Italy), Southfork (Memphis), Projecto’ace Foundation (Buenos Aires), and Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Carter was selected for residency projects at KulturKontakt Austria (Vienna), Qwatz (Rome), Graniti Murales (Sicily), Vice~Versa Foundation (Goa, India), and RECSIM (Jashipur, India), Galerija-Muzej Lendava (Slovenia), and the Kentucky Foundation for Women.
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