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Oklahoma State University

Movers and Shapers: Combines, Tractors, and Swathers by Karen Carson

(STILLWATER, Okla., May 11, 2015) — The OSU Museum of Art is pleased to introduce Movers and Shapers: Combines, Tractors, and Swathers by Karen Carson, on view from June 1 to Aug. 29.

In this exhibition, Los Angeles artist Karen Carson presents large-scale paintings depicting the gargantuan machines that are familiar sights in rural America and revered icons of agricultural abundance, but are rarely seen in art.

Carson, represented by the Rosamund Felson Gallery in Los Angeles for more than 30 years, lives part time in rural Montana and her artwork explores new ways of dealing with the grandeur of that setting. Known for her fearless experimentation, she has created various series that deal with some of the most powerful forces of nature, including forest fires, waterfalls, and windstorms.  In Movers and Shapers she turns to the gigantic motorized masters of nature that have obviated much of the hands-on labor of farming.

“With virtuosic brushwork and vibrant color, she celebrates these hulk-like machines, relishing their lumbering bodies, wide stances and geometric appendages,” writes curator Michael Duncan.

Jokingly calling them “my big boyfriends,” Carson presents these monsters from a female point of view as humorous portraits of masculine vanity. With a sly sense of humor, she humanizes their forms, sublimating their aggressive power so they appear as friendly, almost sensual giants.

Movers and Shapers: Combines, Tractors, and Swathers by Karen Carson is organized by the OSU Museum of Art and curated by Michael Duncan, art critic and independent curator in Los Angeles, California.

Major support for this exhibition and catalogue has been provided by the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, P & K Equipment (Stillwater, OK), and the OSU Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the OSU Museum of Art will host the programs below. All are free to the public and no RSVP is required.

Opening Reception and Artist/Curator Q&A
Monday, June 1, 5 – 7 pm (Q&A begins at 6) 

Family Days
Saturday, June 13, 11 am – 4 pm
Saturday, July 11, 11 am – 4 pm
Saturday, Aug. 8, 11 am – 4 pm

Artist Workshop: Drawing to scale and working with found objects
Saturday, Aug. 29, 9 am - 12 pm, OSU Museum of Art

About the OSU Museum of Art
Exhibitions and programs at the Oklahoma State University Museum of Art are sponsored by OSU Founding Patrons, OSU/A&M Board of Regents, OSU Foundation, and the Oklahoma Arts Council. For more information about the OSU Museum of Art, visit or call 405-744-2780. 

Oklahoma State University is a modern land-grant university that prepares students for success. OSU is America’s Brightest Orange. Through leadership and service, OSU is preparing students for a bright future and building a brighter world for all.  As Oklahoma’s only university with a statewide presence, OSU improves the lives of people in Oklahoma, the nation, and the world through integrated, high-quality teaching, research, and outreach. As America’s Healthiest Campus, OSU is committed to the health and well-being of its students, employees and the community. OSU has more than 36,000 students across its five-campus system and more than 25,000 on its combined Stillwater and Tulsa campuses, with students from all 50 states and around 120 nations. Established in 1890, OSU has graduated around 255,000 students to serve the state of Oklahoma, the nation and the world.​