(American, b. 1947 in Minneapolis, MN, lives and works in London, UK, and New York, NY)
Guided by what she calls her “inner choreography,” Linda Karshan makes spare, monochromatic, abstract prints and drawings that serve as direct reflections of the process of their making. Though she began her career producing expressive compositions, in 1994 she developed a performance-based method for making work, in which every mark is associated with her rhythmic and regulated breathing, her counter-clockwise turning of the paper, the motion of her entire body, and the musical way in which she counts off increments of time. Based on her studies of psychology and Plato’s theory that the universe is ordered numerically, Karshan’s method results in iterative images of intersecting lines, forming grids, geometric shapes and patterns, and, sometimes, ordered yet loosely scribbled marks repeating across the page.
Karshan was educated at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY (1965-67); the Sorbonne, Paris (1967-68); and the Slade School of Art, University College London (1969). In 1983, she earned a Masters in Humanistic Psychology from Antioch Centre for British Studies, London. Her MA thesis, entitled Play, Creativity and the Birth of the Self, focused on D.W. Winnicott's theories of transitional space and creativity, which are central to Karshan's artistic practice.
Karshan's solo museum exhibitions include these at Folkwang Museum, Essen, Germany (2008); Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, UK (2003); Sir John Soane's Museum, London, UK (2002); and Institut Valencia d'Art Modern, Valencia, Spain (2002). Her works were featured in group exhibitions at the Courtauld Gallery, London, UK (2014, 2012), Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, UK (2013, 2010), Kupferstichkabnitt, Berlin, Germany (2013), British Museum, London, UK (2010), and Graphische Sammlung, Munich, Germany (2009), among others. She regularly exhibits with several galleries in Europe, and with ART 3 in Brooklyn, NY.
Karshan's drawings, prints and artist's books are held in public and private collections, including in the UK: The British Library, The British Museum, The Courtauld Institute of Art – all in London, The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, Kettle's Yard, Cambridge; in the US: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; Fogg Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; The Morgan Library, New York, NY; and have been recently acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.