Anna Carll was born in 1960, the youngest child of a large German-American family with five other siblings. Raised in Sarasota, FL, Carll’s early influences were imprinted in a tropical and urban setting. In 1984, Carll received her BA from the University of Florida, after which she relocated to Atlanta, GA, where she lived and worked for 16 years. In 1999 Carll embraced and pursued a fine art discipline and spent 12 years honing her craft in the North Georgia Mountains under the influence of the beautiful Appalachians in the Blue Ridge area. Carll now makes her home in Chattanooga, TN.
Carll began her career as an illustrator and graphic designer, with a strong background in art history. During her career as a designer in Atlanta, Carll maintained long-term relationships with Coca-Cola, Georgia Pacific, Canada Life Insurance, Southwire and a long list of law firms. In between large design projects in 1992, Carll began private study with the late painter Ouida Canaday who founded the Atlanta Piedmont Arts Festival, and continued study with Canaday until 1994. In 1999, Carll quit the graphic design industry to become a full-time painter. From that point onward she evolved as a self-taught artist. Carll’s main influences are Picasso, Matisse, Richard Diebenkorn, Mark Bradford and Lee Krasner.
Carll began her painting career with very colorful figurative work which slowly evolved into non-representational abstract work that is based on the concept of urban expansion & erosion. Carll began pursuing collage intensely after reading the biography of Lee Krasner by Gail Levin and then researching how collage could be used differently for color and pattern.
Carll’s first gallery representation began in 1997 with Bender Fine Art Gallery in Atlanta and is now represented by six galleries in the United States. Carll’s work is collected by a diverse group of private collectors and corporations in the United States, South America, Europe and Asia.
THE URBAN SERIES
Carll’s abstract work is based on the concept of urban erosion and explores the cycle of city life alongside nature. It is the observation of constant urban expansion that creates a push/pull of reconstruction within that natural cycle that moves Carll. Civilizations are built on top of each other creating a rich history of efforts to exist within this construct producing a process that requires constant maintenance to survive.
The Urban Series examines all aspects of this concept through intense color with a birds-eye view and are built layer-by-layer as an examination of this conflict. Carll often uses discarded paintings and collage material on canvas or paper—re-purposing and creating new life out of past work. A careful study of structure along with attention paid to negative space completes Carll’s creative method. Carll combines painting, collage and mixed media within a multi-disciplined art practice using her own vocabulary to create powerful visuals that embody her unique vision of the world.
ABSTRACT COLLAGES AND PAINTINGS
“As I quietly paint, I have both decisive moments and an earnest, listening eye. In the midst of this what occurs is chaos, serendipity, intuitive associations, nuance and reduction. Working with abstraction allows me to explore the boundaries between positive and negative space while combining unusual textures and different media. For much of my work, I begin the artistic process in Photoshop creating sketches derived from parts of previous work where I play with compositions and color. Initially, each piece is laid flat while I add and subtract subtle and intense color, as well as, exploring various types of heavy texture that enhance the interaction of paint, inks or collage material. Once color and chaos are achieved across the surface, the pieces then go up on my painting wall where I begin the reduction process. Through this method, I gradually build multiple layers that begin to form the foundation of the urban collages, urban grids, urban botanicals or character botanicals.
I am fascinated with the push/pull of creating civilizations and nature taking them back. The urban collages begin with an intuitive combination of handmade papers, recycled calendars & periodicals, and designs created in Photoshop that are printed on acid free paper. For the grid paintings I begin by taping off the areas of the surface that interest me to begin the formation of urban streets as I build the composition between positive and negative space. The urban botanicals focus more on the relationship between natures relentless botanical growth in the nooks and crannies of urban architecture. The character botanicals explore eroded botanicals shapes seen through the window of letter forms that make a hidden word.
The making of these paintings & collages is as much a physical experience as an emotional one. I embrace and process the nuances of this work and use the outcome as a vehicle to communicate a narrative about humanity in flux with the natural world that exists outside of language.”