Not Child's Play

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist after he grows up. ~Pablo Picasso

That Carolyn Evans has solved the problem to which Picasso refers is abundantly clear in this exhibition of her recent large, luminous canvases. These whimsical vistas not only relate to the art of several 20th century masters but also clearly evoke the unselfconscious creation of a child's mind. The paintings are, at once, both deceptively sophisticated and disarmingly simple. Moreover, they are not the work of a naive or untutored creator, but of one trained in a traditional course of fine arts instruction.

In addition to Evans' uninhibited painting methods, the familiar subjects of her canvases also recall the art of children. For instance, those recurring houses represent the familiarity of family and home; or the boats, which may symbolize the journey of life or the spirit of adventures and discovery. And certainly Evans keeps distinguished company among eminent predecessors, in addition to Picasso, who have embrace the art and innocence of the very young. Paul Klee, for example, "aspired to achive a naive and untutored quality" in his creations, while Jean Dubuffet, that champion of Art Brut, remarked that " I allowed myself carte blanche to paint in perfect liberty... without troubling to cast a critical gaze upon my work, and experimenting in all directions." Traversing a similar artistic path, Carolyn Evans has stated " I am driven by my freedom and the wonderment..."

Daniel Piersol, New Orleans Museum of Art