Betty Carroll Fuller
13 for 2013: Betty Carroll Fuller
Andre van der Wende

(excerpt)

Outside Betty Carroll Fuller’s studio in the woods of North Falmouth, Massachusetts, there’s a thin layer of snow on the ground. It’s early February, the light is as sharp as the air, with enough snow to set the trees that surround her property into silhouette, their trunks as dark as night against the white field. Looking at Fuller’s recent body of stark black and white abstractions — dense, sooty charcoal drawings of dots, stripes, serrated edges and geometric forms — you begin to draw parallels between the weather, the woods, ocean and sky.


“I love to paint in the winter because I love the black, black sky at night, and the white, white snow, the ice when the bay freezes,” Fuller explained. “I just like the strong contrast and the austerity of January. It’s my favorite month … the light is so beautiful in the winter, just that clean crisp light.”


Her mid-career exhibition at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, which she shares with sculptor Didier Corallo and runs from March 1 through April 21, is an adroit pairing of elegantly playful minimalism curated with a smart assist by the artist Bailey Bob Bailey. Preparing for the exhibit inside her studio, it’s warm with the steady heat of a woodburning stove. On an easel sits “Winter Night,” the only painting in the PAAM show, the lower half of the canvas a field of flat, bottomless black with a torn edge like a truculent shoreline. Above it extends an expanse of white with thin filigrees of line that taper toward a black horizon, all of which begins to make sense when Fuller talks about the mercurial expanse of Buzzards Bay, a short drive from her house.