The Redfern Gallery
John Carter: In Print
John Carter: In Print
John Carter emerged in the 1960s as one of the brilliant New Generation artists. The apparent simplicity and directness of his beautiful, limpid abstract works disguises a subtlety that extends even to their definition as painting, printmaking or sculpture. Solid geometry and drawn and painted illusion coexist in a dialectic of shape and space. His works gently interact with our eyes, leading our minds into ambiguities of surface, depth, solidity and perception. The great simple shapes of planar Euclidean geometry – the basis for our understanding of the shape of the world – in Carter’s work cause us to ask ourselves, what is vertical? What is parallel? What is half? As Hugo von Hoffmannstahl said, ‘Depth is hidden. Where? On the surface.’ The roots of Carter’s work lie in a creative clash between postwar American art and formal European abstraction. Such unlikely bedfellows as Pop art and the Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel combined to influence his completely independent and coherent body of work.
Identical Shapes: Green
Solid geometry and drawn and painted illusion coexist in a dialectic of shape and space.
From John Carter On paper, Royal Academy of Arts, 2019
John Carter in studio
John Carter was born in Hampton Hill, Middlesex, GB. He studied at Twickenham School of Art from 1958 to 1959, then at Kingston School of Art from 1959 to 1963. He was awarded a Leverhulme Travelling Scholarship to Italy in 1963. His first abstract, constructed works were made during this journey at the British School at Rome in 1964. His work consists mainly of constructed "wall-objects" often with a mathematical basis, and occasional fully three-dimensional works - also some print making. A dialogue between painting and sculpture is said to be characteristic of his work. He participated in the "New Generation: 1966" exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (also in 1968). He was awarded a Peter Stuyvesant Travel Bursary to the USA in 1966. His first solo exhibition took place at the Redfern Gallery, London, in 1968 (also in 1971,74,77,2010,13,19). An Arts Council of Great Britain Award was given to him in 1977 and an Arts Council Purchase Award, in 1979. He received a prize from the Tolly Cobbold/Eastern Arts,3rd National Exhibition in 1981. A retrospective exhibition of his work was held at the Warwick Arts Trust, London, in 1983. In 1986 he participated in the international group exhibition: "Die Ecke" at Galerie Hoffmann, Friedberg, Germany, where he made his first contact with European concrete and constructive artists. He has since exhibited widely in Europe, especially Germany, but also in Japan and USA. 1993 saw the realization of a monumental sculpture at the Technische Universität, Darmstadt. In 2007 a monumental relief was installed on the exterior of a new building in Portman Sq. London. Jerwood Gallery, Hastings, held his retrospective exhibition “Sightlines” in 2019. Part-time teaching in art schools had been an important aspect of his life until his retirement from Chelsea College of Art and Design in 1999. Elected Royal Academician in 2007. Awarded Honorary Doctorate in Art and Design by Kingston University in 2016. He lives and works in London.