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What the Critics Say

"It is certainly true that Hisel has learned her craft well. But the importance of her work can only be explained, perhaps in terms of content. At a time when visual narrative has been devalued beyond belief, Hisel seems to be a brave soul, holding the line with dynamic emotional tableaux, rooted in a mystical reality...Poetic is the only word for these works."

David Minton, DIALOGUE: Arts in the Midwest Jan/Feb 1995

"The pictures here radiate a peculiar, mysterious quality...where the now and the before, and possibly the future, seem to coexist in the same mutual space...Hisel's work is pleasurably ponderable, and well worth a trip to see."

Kate Dobbs Ariail, The Independent Weekly, Raleigh, N.C.

"Modest in scale, beautifully designed and crafted, Hisel's narrative investigations into the psycho aesthetics of solitude, and even spirituality, are among the most tasteful, articulate, elegiac, poignant, and exquisite one is likely to see in a very, very, long time."

Daniel Brown, Art Academy News, Cincinnati Art Museum

"Carolyn Hisel's paintings serve as thin windowpanes between the realms of place and placelessness, moment and timelessness, dream and life. Often it's difficult to tell which side of the window you're standing on. Combining the infinitely deep colors of an Appalachian autumn with wallpaper echoes of central Kentucky's Victorian past, her canvasas bespeak the quietly verdant beauty of her world, even when the frame is confined within a single room. Yet where else do we find that room so curiously off kilter, that meadow sliced in half, that bottomless pond across which the yearning soul rows so hopefully? Like Turner before her, Hisel shows us places we've only dreamed we could see; and those places, we see ourselves in her figures, lost yet hopeful, straining at the windowpane."

Joe Nickell, The Missoulian