Carter Exhibited at The Saatchi Gallery



Blue and black acrylic ink, hand marbled paper, pencil and paper on paper

101 x 88 cm
100.5 x 91 cm

Carter uses abstracted drawing as a means of investigation into the shifting concepts of the human body and personal identity. In Untitled, Carter presents a diptych of two rivalling fields of blob-like specimens, each self-contained like Petri dishes nurturing biological mutation. Using his own features as a control for experimentation, Carter’s two panels show subtle variations of the same forms, his abject and non-descript shapes converge as a catalogue of physical possibilities: eyes, lips, noses, and hairstyles float as disembodied samples for facial alteration, while geometric patterns clinically emerge as cell structures, globular tissue, or rough landscapes ripe for cultivation.

prosopopoeia / stasis / landscape


Blue acrylic ink, hand marbled paper, pencil and paper on paper

103 x 87 cm

Carter’s Untitled directly confronts the unease with the corporeal. Highlighting the imperfection of physical matter, Carter renders his drawings in a clumsy manner, allowing delicate quality of ink to bleed with natural defections, and sometimes fixing the pen in an artificial hand in place of his own. Mapped out as a rough diagram, encircled patterns appear as microscopic organisms; alien and virus-like, they are conjoined by varicose lines, linking them to more recognisable features of hair, heads, and eyes. In the top left corner, Carter inserts an archetypical illustration of a hand, drawing attention to the anxiety of experiencing ‘the human’ or ‘self’ as a product of bio-mechanics.



Blue and black acrylic ink and paper on paper

103 x 87.5 cm
47.5 x 40 cm

Reducing the body into fragmented pieces, Carter explores the notion of unfixed identity. Drawing reference from the current obsession with plastic surgery and physical enhancement, Carter’s drawings offer abstraction as a portraiture of choice. In Untitled, Carter outlines five head-like shapes as blank canvases for viewer projection, accompanied by finely penned swatches of textures, and ‘Identikit’ doodles of eyes offering an ‘off the shelf’ array of figurative selection. Treating physiognomy as an alterable ‘costume’ with the potential to both conceal and reflect persona, Carter’s work contains an engagement with several moral and social issues, including media portrayal of body image, sexual closeting, and ethical questions arising from new cosmetic procedures.



Blue acrylic ink and paper on hand marbled paper

45.5 x 59cm

Placing archetypical profiles on a marbleised background, Carter alludes to the classical ideal of human proportion. Presenting duplicate ‘busts’, his drawing operates as 2 dimensional sculpture, his perfect white forms providing a solid template for manufactured identity. Rendering eyes, noses, and ears as empty voids, Carter points to a generic quality of physicality. The samples of hair on the left are used to create a complete model on the right. The finished product, cracked, vieny, and smudged, suggests stone rather than flesh, an unformed appearance ready for moulding.



Blue and black acrylic ink and paper on hand marbled paper

59 x 45.5 cm

Carter’s Untitled posits human identity as organic compound. Collaged onto a marble textured base, Carter combines animal-mineral-vegetable in pseudo-scientific experimentation. Within his silhouetted heads, suggestions of human features appear as Periodic Table-like elements. Abject doodles appear as delicately illustrated specimens of unidentifiable matter: hair, muscle, fibre, something best left unknown, precision labelled with the equally nondescript and creepy word ‘the’. Through his detached bodies, Carter’s work provokes the fragile concept of the personal, reflecting the horror of a biodegradable self.



Blue and black acrylic ink and paper on paper

45.5 x 59cm

Carter’s work reflects a fascination and unease with the human body as a metaphor for an anxiety of persona, the body being an outward projection and defining image of self. Untitled is set quite literally on a blank canvas. Here Carter presents a profile in the making: his half-finished portraits are accompanied by sketchy forms at the bottom of the drawing, inviting viewer participation in completing the image. Through piecemeal assemblage, Carter attributes his figures with personality traits as well as physical features: through the subtle quality of line, tone, and placement his characters resolve as fluctuating and contradictory personalities.

Untitled (2006 #50)


Black acrylic ink, acrylic paint, pencil, synthetic hair, gel medium and paper on paper

96.5 x 77.5 cm
Untitled (2006 #52)


Blue and black acrylic ink, acrylic paint, pencil, synthetic hair, hand-made marbled paper, gel medium and paper on paper

120.7 x 107.3cm

Though Carter’s drawings are directed by an intuitive aesthetic, they evolve from an incredibly time consuming and considered process. Carter begins each work by making his own marbleised paper. Referencing the emotive brushwork of Abstract Expressionist painting, Carter’s swirling patters are created through a ‘hands off’ procedure of dipping individual sheets into a water and oil solution – a process similar to developing photographs. Using these designs as a template over which multiple drawings are arranged and pasted, Carter merges repetitive forms with his ‘instantaneous’ colour-fields, creating a conceptual symbiosis between the intimacy of abstraction and the mechanisation of pop.

Untitled (2006 #53)


Acrylic ink, acrylic paint, pencil, synthetic hair, hand-made marbled paper, gel medium and paper on paper

120.7 x 108 cm

Carter’s idiosyncratic process extends from his material preparation to the act of drawing itself. Never working from imagination, all of Carter’s images are developed from what he describes as “life” study: careful anatomical examination of mannequins, sculptures and photographs. Modelling his images on figurative ‘stand ins’, Carter goes to great lengths to establish their veritas: often directly tracing a form, and always presenting the body in true scale. Through this element of reality, Carter’s work shuns the notion of painting as illusion or representation. Rather his abstractions embrace a concept of self-sustainable identity, giving validation to copy and placebo.

Untitled (2006 #54)


Blue, white and black acrylic ink, acrylic paint, pencil, synthetic hair, gel medium and paper on paper

124.5 x 107.3cm

Developed from sketch of a life sized dummy merged with the outline of his own body, Carter’s Untitled personalises his intrigue with art history and sexual politics. Exploring the relationship between the legacy of artistic identity and the queer closeting predominant in the mid-20th century, Carter presents the masculine body as generic symbol and signifier. Drawing influence from artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, and Andy Warhol, Carter adapts various elements of their work, such as the relationship between drawing and sculpture, ironic reference to indexical painting, and identity as capitalist bi-product. In removing the idea of the individual, Carter conceives the human form as a universal prognostic of equality and choice.

Untitled (2006 #55)


Blue and black acrylic ink, acrylic paint, pencil, synthetic hair, gel medium and paper on paper

123.2 x 108cm

Picturing the vague suggestion of a human form, Carter’s Untitled dissembles into a fragmented array of corporeal mark making. Through Carter’s trademark monochrome palette, he encapsulates references to both classical anatomical drawing and the infinite reproduction of photocopy and print media, translating the body into a system of coded information. Dehumanised and abstracted, Carter’s organic patterning suggests a strange intimacy, its subhuman formulations rendered sympathetic through personal gesture.

Other artists in
Artists in future exhibitions

Caroline Achaintre    Rebecca Ackroyd    Markus Amm    Ivan Argote    Dan Attoe    Michael Bauer    Dan Bayles    Anna Freeman Bentley    Emilia Bergmark    Gabriele Beveridge    Gabriella Boyd    Sarah Braman    Bozidar Brazda    Jonny Briggs    David Brooks    Joey Bryniarska    Agnieszka Brzezanska    Peter Linde Busk    Carter    Nathan Cash Davidson    Loz Chalk    Ronin Cho    James Clarkson    Lucy Coggle    Andy Collins    Ana Cvorovic    Ian Davis    Inez de Coo    Nicholas Dedics    Dominic From Luton    Robert Dowling    Stef Driesen    Colden Drystone    Howard Dyke    Ara Dymond    Judith Eisler    Annabel Emson    Ayan Farah    Dee Ferris    Daphne Fitzpatrick    Michael Fullerton    Dmitri Galitzine    Julia Goldman    Elias Hansen    Hilary Harnischfeger    Chris Hawtin    Kati Heck    Patrick Hill    Dan Holdsworth    Phillipa Horan    David Humphrey    Tom Hunter    Florence Hutchings    Jessica Jackson Hutchins    Merlin James    Jacob Dahl Jürgensen    Bernadette Kerrigan    Terence Koh    Alice Könitz    Ulrich Lamsfuss    Liane Lang    Molly Larkey    Paul Lee    George Henry Longly    Juliette Losq    Lake & Evans    Jill Mason    Simon Mathers    Claire McArdle    Ella McCartney    Martin McMurray    Ryan McNamara    Turay Mederic    Robert Melee    Ian Monroe    Kristine Moran    Eduard Moreno    Luisa Mota    Carlos Noronha Feio    Nick Nowicki    William J. O'Brien    Matt O'dell    Marco Palmieri    Selma Parlour    Oliver Perkins    Dustin Pevey    Marius Pfannenstiel    Arthur Prior    Max Prus    Neil Raitt    Sean Raspet    Brian Reed    Halsey Rodman    Jessica Sanders    Hideyuki Sawayanagi    Amba Sayal-Bennett    Lara Schnitger    Maaike Schoorel    Macrae Semans    Jamie Shovlin    Daniel Silver    Agathe Snow    Jeni Spota    Jack Strange    Miriam Sweeney    Shaan Syed    Emma Talbot    Mateo Tannatt    Stephanie Taylor    Adam Thompson    Rafal Topolewski    Ryan Trecartin    Nobuko Tsuchiya    Caroline Walker    John Wallbank    Ben Washington    Chuck Webster    Aaron Wexler    Poppy Whatmore    Julia Whiting    Jenny Wiener    Alexi Williams Wynn    Susanne M. Winterling    Joel Wyllie    John Wynne    Haeri Yoo

Carter's Biography

Born in 1970, Norwich, Connecticut
Lives and works in New York, NY


Janus Travestito, Annarumma Gallery, Naples, Italy
Maladies, Berkeley Art Museum, Pacific Film Archive, California

Throughout, Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco
EJF, Georg Kargl, Vienna
Forthcoming, Marc Jancou, Geneva

And Within Area Although, Salon 94 Freemans, New York
And, It, The, Constant, Although HOTEL Gallery, London
Erased James Franco film screening and appearances: Museum of Modern Art, New York
Tate Modern, London
Cleveland Museum of Art
Portland Museum of Art
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Castro Theater, San Francisco

Leg opens door / 1963, Yvon Lambert, Paris

Stasis / Front, Salon 94, New York, NY
Stasis / Front The Project, New York, NY
1972, GeorgKargl, Vienna
Exactly 29 Days (32 Days), Medium, St. Barth - French West Indies

Jack Hanley, San Francisco, CA
Carter, 23 Drawings and Polaroids, University of Illinois at Chicago, Gallery 400

Prosopopeia, Hotel Gallery, London
White Room, White Columns, New York, NY
White Columns, Armory 2005, New York, NY

Carter, Drawings and Polaroids, Richard Dadd Gallery, St. Paul, MN
Before, During and After, Bulletin Board Project, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, CA

Conversation Piece, Southern Exposure, San Francisco, CA

Bring in the Actual Photo, Four Walls Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Carter, New Work, Four Walls Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Introductions, Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco, CA


Muntean/Rosenblum, Nemesims, Georg Kargl Fine Arts, Vienna Austria

Persona: A Body in Parts, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC
Play Time, Yvon Lambert , New York
Private Future, Marc Jancou Contemporary, New York
Decade One, Highpoint Editions, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN

Knight's Move, Sculpture Center, New York
Substance Abuse, Leo Koenig, New York
Private Future, Marc Jancou Contemporary, New York
Rive Gauche / Rive Droit, Marc Jancou Contemporary / Paris

Especes D' Espaces, Yvon Lambert, New York
Abstract America, Saatchi Gallery, London
The Secret Life of Objects, Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis, MN
Time Based Art Festival, Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR
Stars!, Salon 94

Comme Au Cinema, The Cinematic as Method and Metaphor, Fotogalleriet, Oslo, Norway (featuring, Erased James Franco)
Faces and Figures (Revisited), Marc Jancou Contemporary, New York, NY
In Geneva No One Can Hear You Scream, Blondeau Fine Art, Geneva, Switzerland
Update,2005-2008, White Columns, New York
Peripheral Vision and Collective Body, Museion, Bolzano, Italy

Swap, Guido W. Baudach Gallery, Berlin hosts Hotel Gallery, London
Wrong Number, Jack Hanley, San Francisco, CA

USA Today, New American Art from the Saatchi Collection, Royal Academy of Arts, London
Whitney Biennial - "Day for Night", Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Dereconstruction, Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York - curated by Matthew Higgs Carter, Chris Johanson, Harrell Fletcher, Jack Hanley Gallery - Art Nova at Art Basel, Miami Beach
Art on Paper, Wheatherspoon Art Museum, biennial exhibition, Greensboro, NC
Carter, Kate Davis, Karen Lofgren, Torbjorn Vejvi, Anna Helwing Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
The Swan is Very Peaceful, Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles, CA
Le Retour de la Colonne Durutti, Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin, Germany - curated by Gyonata Bonvincini
25 Bold Moves, House of Campari, New York, NY - curated by Simon Watson, Craig Hensala
25 x 25, White Columns at Cereal Art, Philadelphia - curated by Matthew Higgs and Amy Scally

Sticks and Stones, Perry Rubenstein, New York, NY
Bebe le Strange, D'Amelio Terras, New York, NY
Self Formation, Art2102, Los Angeles, CA - curated by Renaud Proch
Trade, White Columns, New York, NY - curated by Matthew Higgs
Drawing Gifts, Drawing Center, New York - 2nd annual benefit auction, Christie's New York

Rebus, Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco, CA
Art Point, Midway Contemporary Art, St. Paul, MN, - Miami, FL

Multiplicity, Midway Contemporary Art, St.Paul, MN
The Stray Show, Midway Contemporary Art, St. Paul, MN - Chicago, IL

Being There, Derek Eller Gallery, New York, NY
Artist of the Month, April 2001, Artists Space Gallery, New York, NY
Luminous Wonders of the Electric World, New Langton Arts, San Francisco, CA

The Future of the Body, Richmond Art Center, Oakland, CA
Faculty 2000, Maryland Institute, College of Art, Baltimore, MD
Circus SOEX, Southern Exposure, San Francisco, CA

All of Me, New Langton Arts, San Francisco, CA- curated by Susan Miller
Deep Forest: When Urgency Becomes Form, Four Walls Gallery, San Francisco, CA
SAP: The Residue of the San Francisco Art Scene, Four Walls Gallery, San Francisco, CA - Lanai Motel.
A Skowhegan Decade: 1987-97, David Beitzel Gallery, New York, NY
Covert Pleasures, New Langton Arts, San Francisco, CA
Spoon Full of Sugar, Southern Exposure, San Francisco, CA

Taking Pictures in California, Thesis exhibition - Richard L. Nelson Gallery, Univ. of California, Davis

Bio/Graph, Buehler Center Gallery, Davis, CA
Quickie, Basement Gallery, Davis, CA
Big Bundle of Joy, Pence Gallery, Davis, CA

Skowhegan Annual Exhibition, Skowhegan, ME

Word and Image, Bauhouse Gallery, Baltimore, MD - curated by Joe Cardarelli

8th National Miniature Show, Art Gallery of Fell's Point, Baltimore, MD