Calvin Ross Carl’s work balances the humble realities of American life with the unrealistic ideals sold in design and advertising. His work adopts the optimistic visual language and mechanized mode of creation associated with these worlds. The inhumane aspects of design are counterbalanced with imagery and emotionally charged words acting as concrete poetics. His paintings and objects become ambiguous slogans, provocations, and disillusioned statements about one’s self and the surrounding world.

However, there is always some light in the dark. Closer inspection reveals personalized narratives and levity with the artist’s hand being overtly evident in the process. The final result makes room for comfort and introspection within the dualities of hope and fear, love and loss, and our futures and our pasts. This creates confusion between one’s blind optimism for an ideal future and one’s willingness to succumb to the idea where this may be as good as it gets.

Calvin Ross Carl is an artist, designer and former co-director of Carl & Sloan Contemporary in Portland, OR. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Intermedia in 2008 from Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA). He most recently was included in the Portland 2016 Biennial, curated by Michelle Grabner, Out of Sight 2016: A Survey of Contemporary Art in Seattle, WA, and a survey of Northwest abstract painters at The Marylhurst University Art Gym. Carl has exhibited at LVL3 Gallery (Chicago, IL), Cerritos College (Los Angeles, CA), Ditch Projects (Eugene, OR), Lawndale Art Center (Houston, TX), Platform Gallery (Seattle, WA), NEPO House (Seattle, WA), and Clark College Archer Gallery (Vancouver, WA). He has also exhibited in Portland, OR at Half/Dozen Gallery, Gallery Homeland, HQHQ, New American Art Union, Blackfish Gallery, and Tractor Gallery. Carl is represented by SEASON in Seattle, WA.


Calvin Ross Carl

b. Spokane, Washington 1985

Lives and works in Portland, OR

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Intermedia, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, OR, 2008

Solo & Two-Person Exhibitions


I Am Here Until I Am Not, The Office at Russo Lee Gallery, Portland, OR

The Rose I Leave Behind Me, SEASON, Seattle, WA


A Beggar on Horseback, Ditch Projects, Springfield, OR

All Play & No Work: New Work by Calvin Ross Carl & Matt Jacobs, HQHQ Project Space, Portland, OR (two-person)


Purple Mountain Majesty, Half/Dozen Gallery, Portland, OR (Catalog Available)


Reinvestigating Peter Halley: New Work by Calvin Ross Carl & Derek Franklin, Milepost 5, Portland, OR (two-person)


Split Shift, Tractor Gallery, Portland, OR

Dovetail Deux, New American Art Union, Portland, OR

A Diversion of Industry, Pacific Northwest College of Art: Gallery 214, Portland, OR


Natural Selection: Work by Calvin Ross Carl and Jeremy Le Grand, Pacific Northwest

College of Art: BFA Gallery, Portland, OR (two-person)

Selected Group Exhibitions


Blue Ether, SEASON, Seattle, WA


Born to Be Alive, SEASON, Seattle, WA


Painting Affect, Curated by TILT Export., FAR Bazaar Festival at Cerritos College, Los Angeles, CA


Out of Sight 2016: A Survey of Contemporary Art in the Pacific Northwest, King Street

Station, Seattle, WA

PORTLAND2016 Biennial, The Studio Visits, Curated by Michelle Grabner, Disjecta,

Portland, OR

Dear Jenny, We Are All Find: APRIL Festival & Vignettes Gallery, Vignettes Gallery at Indian Summer, Seattle, WA

and from this distance one might never imagine that it is alive, The Art Gym at Marylhurst University, Marylhurst, OR (Catalog Available)

10th Annual Art Auction Exhibition, Disjecta, Portland, OR


Of Silence, Curated by TILT Export, Outpost Projects, Joshua Tree, CA

Slow Enhancer: Curated by Robert Yoder of SEASON, Platform Gallery, Seattle, WA


New-Onset, Gallery Homeland, Houston, TX

Flatlands, Nisus Gallery, Portland, OR

8th Annual Art Auction Exhibition, Disjecta, Portland, OR


Timeshares: Josh Reames, Calvin Ross Carl and Maria Walker, LVL3, Chicago, IL

Free People: Curated by Victor Maldonado, Gallery Homeland, Portland, OR

Free People: Curated by Victor Maldonado, Hult Center for the Performing Arts:
Jacobs Gallery, Eugene, OR

7th Annual Art Auction Exhibition, Disjecta, Portland, OR


Collider, curated by Jeff Jahn, Portland State University Littman Gallery, Portland, OR

SOUTHERN/PACIFIC, Gallery Homeland, Portland, OR

The Infectious Corruption of Color, Clark College Archer Gallery, Vancouver, WA

Benders, NEPO House, Seattle, WA

6th Annual Art Auction Exhibition, Disjecta, Portland, OR


SOUTHERN/PACIFIC, Lawndale Art Center, Houston, TX

Keep em' Coming, Half/Dozen Gallery, Portland, OR

5th Annual Art Auction Exhibition, Disjecta, Portland, OR


FOG: A Spring Group Show, Half/Dozen Gallery, Portland, OR

Objects of Beauty, Gallery Homeland, Portland, OR

4th Annual Art Auction Exhibition, Disjecta, Portland, OR


Push Up, Appendix Project Space, Portland, OR

SQFT, Blackfish Gallery, Portland, OR

Incompletely, Gallery Homeland, Portland, OR

Store for a Month, Portland, OR

Transfixed, Gallery Homeland, Portland, OR


Holy Sheet, Gallery Homeland, Portland, OR


2015-2016    Co-Director, Carl & Sloan Contemporary, Portland, OR

2009    Incompletely: Work by Ashley Sloan, Calvin Ross Carl, Gary Wiseman, Derek Franklin, Joshua West Smith, and Bailey Winters, Gallery Homeland, Portland, OR


Arnold, Sharon. “Calvin Ross Carl's Post-Internet Confectionary Wisdom.” Two Coats of Paint, 17 Sept. 2017,

Johnson, Barry. “Considering the Art Gym’s Abstractions.” Oregon ArtsWatch. 23 Feb. 2016.

"Mixed Textures With Calvin Ross Carl." Interview. Urban Outfitters Blog. 2016.

"An Interview with Carl & Sloan." Interview by Graham W. Bell. An Interview with Carl & Sloan. Noise & Color, 23 Mar. 2015. Web.

"Endless Summer: Prolonged Moments Among SEASON Gallery’s Paintings" by Erin Langner. New American Paintings. 31 Aug. 2015.’s-paintings

Bell, Graham W. "Emerging from the Grid." Oregon ArtsWatch. 09 Dec. 2014. Web.

“Weekend Picks” by Jeff Jahn. PORT. 14 Mar. 2014

"Timeshares at LVL3" by Stephanie Cristello. New American Paintings. 7 August 2013.

Foumberg, Jason. "Twelve Great Art Gallery Exhibits in Chicago Right Now." Web log post. Chicago Magazine. 8 Aug. 2013. Web.

"Calvin Ross Carl." Interview by Kylie Gava. ForgetGood. Aug. 2013. Web.

"Collider: Is painting dead or alive?" by Richard Speer. Willamette Week. 12 September 2012.

Angelini, Michele. “The Rules of Abstraction.” Web log post. Lancia TrendVisions. 4 July 2012. Web.

Breaux, Adrienne. "Featured Artist: Calvin Ross Carl." Web log post. 2Modern. 24 Feb. 2012. Web.

"Artist of the Week: Calvin Ross Carl". Interview with LVL3 Gallery. Web log post. 31 October 2011.

"Living for the Weekend: Calvin Ross Carl's Purple Mountain Majesty" by Victor Maldonado. UltraPDX. 31 July 2010.

“Tonight: First Thursday” by Matt Stangel. Portland Mercury. 01 July 2010.

Interview on KBOO FM's Art Focus with Eva Lake. 06 July 2010.

"Review: Incompletely at GalleryHOMELAND" by Lisa Radon. Portland Monthly Magazine. 08 Aug. 2009.

Visiting Artist Lectures and Panel Discussions

2016    Conversations on Painting (with Pat Boas and Michael Lazarus), Marylhurst University Art Gym, Portland, OR

2014    The History of Art is Design Lecture, University of Oregon, Art History Department, Portland, OR

2013    Visiting Artist Lecture, University of Oregon, Digital Arts Department, Portland, OR

2011    Visiting Artist Lecture, Willamette University, Art Department, Salem, OR

2010    Visiting Artist Lecture, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, OR

2009     Visiting Artist Lecture, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, OR

Public and Private Collections

City of Portland (Regional Arts & Culture Council Visual Chronicle of Portland collection), Portland, OR

Lawrence & Clark Gallery, Chicago, IL

The world is built by the restless.