Quotes about the Work

“It is impossible to know if Carol Setterlund’s paintings thrive in a
microscopic or macroscopic realm, but the language of astronomy suits
the unpredictable constellations of color she generates. The sense of
time they inhabit is equally multiplicitous and contradictory,
nanoseconds and eons compressed into her charged rectangles of space.

Separation #6

In Setterlund’s paintings we can witness the galactically slow
gyration of cosmic debris which–with patience we cannot fathom–a
solar system might be borne. Or the abruptly volatile instant of
supernova when a star is sundered apart, irretrievably scattering
itself into new possibilities. Or the almost imperceptible collapsing
inward, entropy painstakingly quieting the dance into the stillness
of a dwarf star.

There is a heartbeat in these paintings that belies their apparent
abstraction, a quickening gesture that speaks of a life fully lived
in all its complexity and richness. Enter these paintings at your own
risk and trust to their fire.” ~ Micah Schwaberow   2015

“This is an eloquent transformation of the life aquatic in that part of the world–You can feel the chill of water without its direct representation. Magic!” ~Chester Arnold 2015

“With an explosion of scumbling and gesture, a prismatic
array of color issues an invitation into a world of inexplicable
cohesion. This is not a world of declarative statement. The
painting invites you into a place of light and density, a place
of mystery. It invites not only contemplation, but is a
provocation for meditation.” ~ Harley  2015

“Born in Humboldt County, Carol Setterlund has lived in Northern California for most of her life. A self-taught sculptor, she has spent over fifteen years exploring the complexities of human existence in forms of roughly hewn wood. For much of the early part of her career, she drew inspiration from natural forms and the landscape and was strongly influenced by British abstract artist Barbara Hepworth. In the late 1980s, however, she turned to figurative works of intentional ambiguity and paradox. Setterlund carves and shapes wood into forms that touch on those parts of the human experience that are outside of time and place.” ~ Sonoma County Museum   2005

MINOS“—The historical references are numerous but what stands out is a fundamental stripping down of sculpture to elemental forms of head and cylindrical torso, juxtaposed between natural and carved materials. The iconic nature of the carved heads, the extended natural elements delineating the standing figures express an appreciation of early primitive and the archaic forms, the Kuros of the pre-classical Greek period and their inherent mimicry of earlier Egyptian artistic conventions are easily evident, It is the rich mining of the native, the folk, the simplified power of the primitive which arches through space and time in these impressive sculptures.” ~ Stellar-Somerset Gallery

“ A sense of ancient history prevails like some archetype in a primeval forest. Standing in the middle, surrounded in the round with round trunks, round heads, round eyes, round mouths, all in a round world under an arching heaven, bestows a calming effect, as if these beleaguered forms had endured and prevailed over time immemorial. Battered as they may be, a calm dignity reigns, as if the encounters over time had healed while the inner spirit remains unscathed?” ~ Bob Hanamura, Sonoma Museum of Visual Art, Art Muse

“Throughout much of Setterlund’s work are recurring references to the ubiquitous experiences and emotions of humanity. The weathered, rough textures of the piece, Time Present, simulate the effects of aging and experience. In a sense her figures are emblematic of the human drive towards endurance and survival…..The formal strength of Setterlund’s sculpture corresponds perfectly to her complex understanding of the human condition. Her sculpture are survivors—scarred and disabled. Yet, they draw themselves up in gestures of dignity, having survived the harsh accretions of experience and loss. Amidst the disorder and chaos that life often visits upon us, they stand resolute in vital witness to the endurance of the human spirit.”  ~ Humboldt State University, First Street Gallery 2003