Jon Carsman

“Jon Carsman did for suburban and hometown views what Edward Hopper did for cities, except Carsman eschewed a human presence.”

Annette Dixon, curator of the University of Michigan Museum.

Jon Carsman found the source of his inspiration in the play of color and light reflected across the framed houses, streets and country sides of small town America. His paintings synthesize realism and fantasy.

Color is an important factor in Carsman’s work. His pallet is vibrant and intense. Carsman isolates strong areas of color in juxtaposition with dark outline; the colors become crystallized motifs with a sparkling jewel-like quality. Color is the greatest emotional factor in painting and Carsman uses this device very successfully. Carsman paints broad areas of vivid high-key tones with a surprising effect that creates a dynamic interplay of light and shadow.

“Jon Carsman’s paintings…stir a curious double recall of past masters, being remindful at once of Charles Burchfield…. Here are small townscapes with anonymous middle aged buildings illuminated in the strong lights and lengthy shadows of late sunshine…. But all tonal gradations have been eliminated, so that the scenes become a kind of patchwork, or marquetry, in flat color areas of descriptive shape. …What appears, for a moment, to be a simple reduction from photographic nature is in fact the result of subtle calculation.”

John Canaday The New York Times



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