Here the initials strategically disrupted the paintings’ expanses of acidic monochromatic color in the manner of a Barnett Newman zip. In their wake was the shimmery aftereffect of the mauve lettering on the pale tomato-soup-red backgrounds of the five paintings in the gallery’s front room, in tandem with the sensation of a “call of the wild,” a sort of vibrating hum in the sweep of an empty landscape. The letters looked gently chewed, like flattened wads of bubble gum. In the painting in the gallery’s office, “CARL” was spelled out in its entirety; previous “signature” paintings have denoted “By Me” and “Myself,” all letters and words functioning cogently as abstraction as well as literal notations.
A version of this story originally appeared in the October 2014 issue of ARTnews on page 120.