Presenting the history of American Art as seen through the eyes of Provincetown

Mike Carroll



Mike Carroll is an artist who lives and works in Truro, Provincetown and South Florida. His work has been exhibited throughout the northeast and Southern US, is in numerous collections and has been written about in Art New England, Provincetown Arts, Big, Red & Shiny and Artscope, among other publications.

Carroll makes oil paintings on wood. His nonobjective paintings are constructed from successions of shapes that stack, jostle and intersect like jigsaw puzzles. The compositions are not preconceived but are connected to drawing and language and refer to the logic of Indra's Net, the spiritual metaphor from Buddhism and Hinduism. In process he refers to them as 'calendar paintings' as they are meant to be documents of a working painting practice, of a succession of days in the studio.

Inside the paintings each shape has several functions: One is to be a real representation of the moment of making: 'This color, this much, this right, this wrong…' are all allowed as part of a sort of wabi-sabi approach. Second, the geometric or architectural shapes in the work 'build' the images and refer to language and theatrical spaces. They are designed to be authentic marks and simultaneously to be 'stand-ins' for real experiences, descriptions of moments - just as an actor gives a real performance of an invented story. Carroll is fascinated by the degree to which we are able to tell the truth with paint and in words and actions, and by the differences between truth and the description of it.

In addition Carroll has been a curator, gallerist, advisor, and producer in the world of fine art for three decades. He attended Emerson College and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and was involved in Boston's then thriving underground scene. He ran the live performance and video section at The Boston Film Video Foundation when video was in its black and white reel to reel infancy. Carroll opened his first gallery, The 11th Hour in the early 1980's where he produced early exhibitions by members of The Boston School.

He was the Executive Director at Provincetown's Schoolhouse Center from 1997 through 2004 and has been the owner of the Schoolhouse Gallery since 2005 where he is well known for presenting the finest in contemporary art and new thought in the gallery and at a variety of outside projects. He is a member of the Board of Directors of 20Summers and sits on the Advisory Board of The Fine Arts Work Center and Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill. Carroll also writes and speaks on making, studio practices and exhibition spaces.