Charles W. Goolsby

Charles W. Goolsby: Familiar Territory September 27, 2021 - October 23, 2021

Artist Statement

Marathon, oil on canvas, 60 x 72 inches, 2020 Marathon, oil on canvas, 60 x 72 inches, 2020

I am transformed by my surroundings. My paintings are initially designed from an exploration of the environment in which I live. Partly informed by traditions of 19th-century American landscape painting, abstract expressionism, and neo-expressionism, my process transforms the landscape that inspires me into images that become intense psychological dramas.


Industrial Park, oil on canvas, 72 x 96 inches, 2020 Industrial Park, oil on canvas, 72 x 96 inches, 2020 The process for my work involves going out on location and making sketches and photographs. I use these source materials to develop my final compositions into the paintings. I am interested in paint as a physical material, which leads me to approach canvases with a gestural and liberal handling of the medium. Physicality and richness are two characteristics of oil paint and I wish to exploit them to their fullest extent.

I contrast geometric and the organic elements with activated brushwork in my paintings to develop a sense of tension and anxiety. Gestural brush marks colliding with trees and dappled reflected lights contrasting against aggressively sweeping concrete are examples of this basic organic-geometric opposition that is embodied in my work. In addition, I am fascinated with issues of space and the dynamics it has to offer in terms of illusionary depth within the picture plane. I am continuously searching for a personal, convincing and restricted color palette that is effective in delivering an emotional punch.

The selections I make are chosen because of a subconscious affinity I have to the subjects and forms that interest me. The themes that dominate my work are speed, confrontation, crossing borders, transitions, compression, isolation, reflection, fear, and collision. Mystery, monumentality, and ambiguity are key components of my work.

— Charles W. Goolsby