Carole Rabe: The Color of Light

3 January – 5 March 2011

Wrought Iron Chair, oil on canvas
Red Lily, oil on canvas
(click to enlarge)

Carole Rabe’s oil paintings are all interiors of her homes, both her previous house and the one she had built five years ago. Here is an example of what happens when a serious artist commits to a specific subject matter and keeps working and refining her theme. The result is a rich, deeply thought out body of work that glows with an inner light and an attention to detail that while profuse, is neither overdone nor nitpicky.

Her use of color and light is quietly astounding. Light gleams on tabletops, on floors, seeps in through blinds, and casts intriguing shadows on walls. Here it catches the fold of a napkin or a tablecloth, there it caresses the surface of a chair. Certainly Rabe knows her art history; following in a realist vein, there are nods to Manet, Sargent, Morandi, and Antonio Lopez Garcia who was her hero in graduate school at Boston University. She has studied with James Weeks, Lennart Anderson, and Michael Dowling.

Wrought Iron Chair, oil on canvas
Wrought Iron Chair, oil on canvas
(click to enlarge)

Carole writes “My imagery is personal; I need some connection to my subject matter in order for me to claim it in a painting.” All of the objects in her paintings are objects in her home that she feels a personal connection to. For example, the silver plate upon which the pot rests in “The Ivy Geranium” is from her husband’s grandmother’s family. Every object in “The Red Vase,” from the eponymous vase to the plate, basket, doily and table, has a history. Nothing is overly sentimental or saccharine, we are simply privileged with a glimpse, a varied, versicolored and sometimes surprising view of the interior of a life. Of a life lived in detail, resplendent color, and light. The color of light.


All are welcome to a reception with Carole Rabe on: Saturday, January 29, from 12:30-2:00 pm. This event is free and open to the public.

This exhibit is supported by the Groton Public Library Endowment Trust.


Blue Window, oil on canvas