Carol Wagstaff - The Critique

Carol WagstaffA powerfully conceptual albeit substantial style characterises Carol Wagstaff’s impressive creations: she binds both emotional and rational aspects in her works, displaying a clear versatility in pictorial approach, technique and media that originates from her innate struggle to capture the complexities of human relationships. With their varied textures and compositions, Wagstaff’s intriguing artworks weave an almost mystical harmony, simultaneously showing a balanced and consistent colour palette which highlights the analytical side of her instinctive skill.
This artist’s more abstract creations are essentially sensorial depictions of her innermost sympathy for dynamic humanity that clearly represents her principal focus, purpose and commitment. Wagstaff is a talented artist who is able to transmit intuitive emotions, becoming a bridge between the viewer’s unawareness and a spontaneously lucid analysis of an extremely vulnerable and victimised world, prompting a strong reaction in the spectator.
Stylistically speaking, Wagstaff’s compositions convey a sense of timeless art, reminiscent of the ancient glories of Byzantine imagery and inspired by Klimt’s ‘Golden Phase’. In fact, each deep and warm tone hidden in her mysterious shadows seems made by precious metal, in a lustrous aura of rich brushstrokes. Whether the creation is on canvas or wood, Wagstaff’s elegant mastery merges the soft shapes of a primordial geometry with the sinuous forms of a contemporary abstraction, accentuating the outright allure of these paintings. Her minimalist palette and skilful use of nuanced profiles and shadowed silhouettes create a complex sense of perspective and depth in her canvases, acutely influenced by the Italian Renaissance use of ‘sfumato’ and ‘chiaroscuro’. 
Soft and hazy brushwork carries us back to the remote roots of a forgotten cultural tradition and speak directly to our collective subconscious, transporting the spectator into a maze of meaningful horizons. In fact, Wagstaff offers numerous psychological nuances, leaving each portrayal surrounded in a delicate veil of mystery.
Furthermore, in attempting to analyse her cryptic representations, characterised by a vibrant and energetic flow of energy, our perception is enhanced by her expressive delicacy that is channeled towards depicting a crowded humanity in unceasing evolution, possibly driven by an apocalyptic wind of change. An undeniable background of intellectual and cultured references delineates Wagstaff’s incredible talent while the artworks themselves capture us with their fascinating haze.
Timothy Warrington
International Confederation of Art Critics