The Dolphin Dream, 1997, 4′ x 9′ oils on canvas - Jill Karlin


From the 6th of February to the 11th of March 2011 – Ross Gallery Of Art

After graduating from Rhode Island School of Design in 1976, Karlin embarked upon her career with her first one person show at Boston Center for The Arts. At this time, she was teaching art at an exclusive prep school, a post she retained for several years before setting off for a stint of art study in Rome. She then returned to America where she took her Masters degree at Boston University School of Fine Arts. Here she was to learn traditional techniques under teachers imbued with an innate admiration for the Renaissance masters.
It was during this period that Karlin began experimentations with egg tempera and completed a series of large oil paintings called The Peaceable Kingdom.  She had been inspired by American naïve primitive painters who had visions of an arcadian paradise world, a sort of bucolic Utopia, in which swords are beaten into plowshares and the leopard lies down  with the lamb…
In 2000, Karlin was to win the prestigious Philip Hulitar award at the Society of Four Arts in Palm Beach for her controversial and imaginative painting, What Does A Dolphin Dream About? This was painted in a similar style and delved into the same set of preoccupations: the interface of the real world with the world of dreams and reverie.
There is an influence of some great painters: Matisse, Gauguin, Henri Rousseau and Grandma Moses. From the study of these great artists Karlin obviously derived great benefit, but in no sense can her work be described as derivative. It has a unique freshness of its own. Perhaps the quality that distinguishes her work above all is its chaste and childlike simplicity—its rare innocency of eye. (Lasha Darkmoon)

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