Kendell Carter says, “I am looking to the formal abstraction of casual cultural signifiers and as a means of liberating a traditional knee-jerk discourse that is often centered in Subjective Blackness VS. Objective Mark Making. I am not rejecting identity, I am simply prioritizing and normalizing mark making. I am looking for the liberated nature of a postmodern American artwork via abstraction.”
Carter continues his series Untitled Relationships—multi-part works of collaged mass-produced materials, drawings, spray paint, and glitter—inviting viewers to define their own relationships between casual and formal elements. He positions fetishized objects like fat shoelaces, track pants, or Timberlands as the new materials of postmodern pastiche. Referencing iconic moments in modernist art and design, Carter turns contemporary culture on itself, empowering these common materials to surpass their casual status. In his new densely layered paintings, Carter’s formal treatment of paint (pouring, peeling, sculpting, weaving, gluing, nailing, etc) pushes the physical limits of the “flat” medium. Though Carter’s abstracts are aesthetically formal his use of casual signifiers to make marks breaks with modernist theory by conflating the subjective and objective nature of materials.