Charlotte, North Carolina -- SOCO Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition by the New York-based painter Carrie Yamaoka. Yamaoka will join SOCO Gallery for a public reception and celebration of "The Space Between" on Thursday, January 19th, from 6 to 8 PM. This will be the artist's first exhibition in North Carolina.

Carrie Yamaoka works in what the artist refers to as an expanded field of painting, utilizing unconventional materials including reflective silver mylar film and poured layers of resin, along with experimentally-developed tactile processes such as rubbing and the lifting off of pigment, to arrive at a remarkable exploration of topography marked by the intersection of chance and intention. The dazzlingly reflective surfaces of the completed paintings draw the viewer into their endless depths, while reflecting the constantly shifting physicality of both the viewer and the environment in which they are installed. As Roberta Smith of the New York Times perhaps best described it, “Ms. Yamaoka's sumptuous yet unassuming paintings constitute a kind of Situationist Minimalism. They are physically specific and implacable, yet so vague they can almost disappear, especially if you become involved with the blurry ways they reflect their surroundings.”

In Artforum Summer 2016, Yamaoka was quoted about the interaction with her work, “Some people do not like seeing themselves. Viewers will take up a position outside of the frame, uneasy. Or it can be just the opposite. Strange as what one sees is never a true facsimile (an impossibility), but an inflected, chewed-up approximation of what you might call a self. Never still for long, continually in motion, where the light falls, never the same way, I am caught in the process of becoming, and in the midst of disintegrating.”

Carrie Yamaoka

Carrie Yamaoka, 12 by 10 (deep blue) redux, 2011-2013. Copyright © Carrie Yamaoka courtesy of SOCO Gallery.

Noteworthy: Tell us a little about your background. How did you get started in painting?

Carrie: It was a circuitous route. I started out wanting to become a photographer, then a composer  and then a ceramicist. In high school I was very involved in photography—shooting pictures, setting up my own darkroom, developing the film, printing the photos. That was followed by an intense immersion in experimental music, composing music as well as multimedia performance work. And then I had a brief infatuation with ceramics. In my senior year at Wesleyan, I did my thesis project in drawing—drawing as an art form in itself, rather than in preparation for painting. When I got out of school and moved to New York City, I was surrounded by painters and painting, and I caught the bug.

Noteworthy: What inspires your work? Influences?

Carrie: I find myself circling back to the analog photographic processes I explored in the darkroom as one source of inspiration. That moment when the image starts to come up in the developing tray, with a hint of a trace of the image you think you know and have a memory of shooting, however fleeting and somewhat un-graspable—that in-between moment interests me. I try to capture some of that limbo, to entice the viewer to look, dream and question what they are seeing, all at the same time.

Noteworthy: As an artist, how do you stay fresh creatively speaking?

Carrie: There are times when I am absolutely disgusted with whatever work is happening in my studio, and out of that disgust, new energy and new ideas often emerge. Because when something is going badly, I have nothing to lose. I find that frees me to then make decisions that are a combination of something I’ve wanted to try out and something rather new. Conundrums often lead to breakthroughs.

Carrie Yamaoka

Carrie Yamaoka, 24 by 20 (medium bubble), 2015. Copyright © Carrie Yamaoka courtesy of SOCO Gallery.

Noteworthy: Share with us a little about your process and materials used when creating a painting.

Carrie: I work with powdered and liquid pigments, reflective mylar and resin, both flexible resin and rigid resin. I never use a paintbrush. I work flat, there is a lot of pouring involved. I like to work in a zone where chance and intention meet, so I court a certain serendipity. I am interested in errors and defects. I always use a reflective ground—so the viewer is the one who ‘makes’ the work, through the act of seeing and engaging with the painting.

Noteworthy: Tell us about your upcoming show, “The Space Between”, opening January 19th at SOCO Gallery in Charlotte, NC.

Carrie: “The Space Between” is a selection of work from the past 10 years. I wanted to show a range of work, showing the breadth of my practice.

Carrie Yamaoka

Carrie Yamaoka, 72 by 18 (deep blue fade), 2009. Copyright © Carrie Yamaoka courtesy of SOCO Gallery.

Carrie Yamaoka (American, b. 1958) has had solo exhibitions in London, Brussels, Zurich, and Amsterdam, as well as her most recent solo exhibition which took place at Lucien Terras in New York in September of 2015. Her work was featured in Greater New York 2015 at MoMA/PS1, October 2015 - March 2016. Yamaoka’s work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Art in America, Artforum, L’Express, Time Out, Bomb, and The New Yorker, among other publications. The artist lives and works in New York.

SOCO Gallery is a contemporary art space and bookshop based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The gallery provides a thoughtful platform for contemporary art to be experienced, discussed, and acquired. SOCO Gallery produces a range of exhibitions annually, and exclusively represents artists working locally, nationally, and internationally at the highest levels. The gallery specializes in assisting private collectors, institutions, and corporations to build their collections with museum-quality artworks from emerging to established artists.

For inquiries or more information, please contact Monica Friel at

Featured image, detail of Carrie Yamaoka, 12 by 10 (deep blue) redux, 2011-2013. Copyright © Carrie Yamaoka courtesy of SOCO Gallery.