Addison/Ripley Fine Art Presents Carol Brown Goldberg …On The Other Hand

By Editorial Team on April 5, 2021

Sat, 10 April 2021 - Sat, 22 May 2021

I Learn to Seek What I Need to See, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 84 x 96 inches.
On View: April 10 – May 22, 2021

Visit our Artsy page to view the exhibition: … ON THE OTHER HAND

A couple of years ago, I visited Carol Brown Goldberg in her Maryland studio and was concerned to see her hand and forearm encased in an elaborate cast. As we chatted, I noted that Carol, despite the obvious discomfort from her accident and the initial awkwardness of using her non-dominant hand, was still using her other hand to make doodles, patterns and designs on the sheet of paper beside her. She seemed almost to be doing it unconsciously. William Butler Yeats and his new bride Georgie Hyde-Lees engaged in a similar exercise in 1917 as described in “A Vision”, calling their efforts “automatic script”. While the Yeats originally thought of their communiques as channeling specific spirits, they generally felt that it allowed a deep spiritual communication between the material and the immaterial worlds. As an avid reader, Carol pursues that same hungry search for answers to large questions in books and through her art. Nearly all of the works on display in this exhibition are the result of the artist channelling new artistic energy through the use of her other hand.

While we have included one, large but related canvas, “I Learn To Seek What I Need to See”, as a reference point to connect with the artist’s earlier work, most of the works in this exhibition are much smaller. Many of those small works, however, are as dense, complex and elaborate as Carol’s previous, “Entanglements” series. These smaller pieces exude primal energy. Often the paint flows over the front surface, down the canvas sides and pools beside the work. Enigmatic patterns in fine black line fills many of the white spaces of these works. The artist further emphasizes the three dimensional qualities of her paintings by framing them in deep boxes. The result is a collection of works in primary colors, thickly applied paints and fully engaged edges.

Carol’s interest in and admiration of the artist in the CoBra School possibly informs some of her palette choices but the intricate black lines drawn into the white spaces in this work is more in keeping with M. C. Escher , fractal art and Cy Twombly painterly scrawls. Drawing into the white spaces, the artist both draws attention to the formerly empty spaces in the work and creates a mesmerizing but unifying element. By suspending the already dimensional works in glass covered box frames, the artist presents the viewer with a weightless work, exempt from the usual rules governing physical objects and very capably capturing our attention. By not taking what could have been a long break from art making due to her accident, the artist has pivoted in an entirely unforeseen direction, using her other hand.

“O chestnut tree, great rooted blossomer,
Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?
O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
How can we know the dancer from the dance?”

W.B. Yeats from Among School Children 1933

Carol Brown Goldberg has an extensive exhibition record in the United States and abroad including the Katzen Arts Center at American University (Washington, DC), Frost Art Museum (Miami, FL), Phillips Collection (Washington, DC), Conarte Museum (Monterrey, Mexico), Chautauqua Institute (Chautauqua, NY), and others. Her work is represented in many important museum collections, including South Dakota Art Museum (Brookings, SD), Vero Beach Museum of Art (Vero Beach, FL), Reading Public Museum (Reading, PA), Academy Art Museum (Easton, MD), the Kreeger Museum (Washington, DC), New Orleans Museum of Art (New Orleans, LA), Gabarrón Foundation Museum (Valladolid, Spain), National Museum for Women in the Arts (Washington, DC), Deland Museum of Art (Deland, FL), and the New England Contemporary Art Museum (Brooklyn, CT), among others. She is a recipient of numerous awards including the 2020 Distinguished Terrapin Award from the University of Maryland (College Park, PA), 2019 Daryl Reich Rubenstein Award from the Sidwell Friends School (Washington, DC), 2018 Year of the Woman Gala Honoree from Moment Magazine (Washington, DC) and 2010 Individual Artist Award from Maryland State Arts Council (Baltimore, MD). Most recently the artist received the “Distinguished Terrapin Award,” from The University of Maryland College of Arts and Humanities; College Park, MD.

For more information about the artist and her work, images from the exhibition or to schedule an appointment to view the work, please contact Ms. Romy Silverstein at

Addison/Ripley Fine Art is open by appointment Tuesday-Saturday, 11 – 4pm.

The gallery is located at 1670 Wisconsin Avenue in Upper Georgetown at the intersection of Reservoir Road.

*Masks/face coverings will be required to enter the gallery, and for the entirety of your visit.