Caroline Corbasson’s Charcoal Drawings of Earth and Space

by Roxanne GoldbergPosted on

Drawing with charcoal, Caroline Corbasson cuts, layers, and duplicates images of earth and space to convey the vast mysteries of the world and the universe beyond. Geological formations and celestial galaxies stretch, twist and split in the French artist’s works. Despite the enduring depths conveyed in her images, Corbasson’s choice of material suggests a state of impermanence within the universe. This interest in astronomical time is further apparent in the way Corbasson references archival renderings of space, such as Galileo’s 17th century drawings and late 20th century images taken by the Hubble Telescope, while also using contemporary and nuanced composition and display methods.

For example, a drawing of a 50,000 year-old crater in Arizona is composed of nine panels pieced together asymmetrically. The aesthetic emphasizes the historical fact that a destructive mark had been left in the earth’s surface. Photo-realistic drawings on paper show enormous, single rock formations. These natural phenomena are curious however, for their separation. The series of four diptychs is composed of two rocky formations — one on land, the other in water. Each of the two mountains are split in the middle and separated first, only by the white space of the gallery, and then, facing opposite, united by the earth on which they stand. Titled “Apart” (2014), the large-scale drawings incite contemplative thoughts about power and chance in destructive forces in nature.

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