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Carole d'Inverno | I Didn't Know How to Say Goodbye

Morrison Gallery | March 7–May 8 | Art Night Out April 25

“I didn’t know how to say goodbye.”

–Excerpt from documentary: Ellis Island – History of Immigration to the United States | 1890 – 1920, on view in the St. Louis County Historical Society Immigration Room

Painting by Carole d'Inverno, "HERE"

Image Credit: Carole d'Inverno, "HERE," 2020, 84"x144"

Abstract artist Carole d’Inverno weaves history together with her imagination, building work that embodies her impressions of a region. In Duluth, d’Inverno describes feeling anchored to the Lake; its vast horizon melts into the sky and dictates the landscape and history.

I Didn’t Know How to Say Goodbye illustrates the long story of immigration, from the first arrivals post-Ice Age to the subsequent migrations through the centuries. Each group carried their own story, adding their journey to a collective history. Each person left behind a piece of themselves and chose what to carry: colorful bundles of necessities and homeland memories. D’Inverno captures the physicality of both and filters them onto large-scale canvases.

Duluth is a region of contrast: dark, cold times surge into a spring explosion of life. This divergence is mirrored in d’Inverno’s sizeable paintings, where gentle muted palettes are accented with pops of color. Matted vinyl emulsion paints and colored pencils build into meditative landscapes that invite one to pause and reflect on stories both personal and universal.

Carole d’Inverno immigrated to the United States from Europe in the 1970s. She found herself grasping to understand the contradictions in her new home: disparity of wealth, gun violence, and racial tensions set against close-knit communities, pride in country, and the belief that everything is possible. Researching regions, meeting locals, and visiting historical sites gives d’Inverno perspectives that morph into paintings and drawings. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States and abroad and is housed in public and private collections around the world.

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