Kara Joslyn’s enigmatic paintings describe a floating, liminal world of masked figures, geometric forms and moons. Using imagery from 1950s craft books, Joslyn divorces these figures, domestic interiors and decorative motifs from their original context, transforming the play images from domestic mid-century America into surreal, yet strikingly realistic forms on the canvas. With an interest in illusion and optics, Joslyn hand-mixes polymer car paints and applies them in a labor-intensive process of masking and airbrushing. Skillfully executed, these images mimic, codify and reflect on the surface to fool the eye and bring into view a symbolic space—the dreamlike tableaux of the unconscious.


Kara Joslyn (b. San Diego, CA) received her BFA from California College of the Arts, San Francisco, completed post-baccalaureate studies in Painting at Columbia University, New York and has an MFA at the University of California, San Diego. Joslyn was a nominee for the 2018 Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant and a two-time nominee for the Robert Motherwell Foundation MFA Fellowship in Painting and Sculpture. She received the Russell Foundation Grant in 2014 for her work with Holography at UCSD. Exhibitions include those at 356 Mission (Los Angeles), The Museum of Contemporary Art (San Diego), Commonwealth and Council (Los Angeles), The Barrick Museum (Las Vegas) and Bizkaia Aretoa University of the Basque Country (Bilbao). Her 2019 solo exhibition at M+B, Tragic Kingdom, was an Artforum Critics’ Pick. Other recent press includes a profile in Ambit Magazine. Kara Joslyn lives and works in Los Angeles.