Carol Brookes


I see the world as layers of structure and surface, one upon the other. These concepts drive my work and have resulted in two related series of work, PULSE and SLANT. These works are made of frame-like boxes constructed of wood and canvas and filled with sculptural structures and mixed media materials. They are in essence wall sculptures that create a strong architectural presence.

The PULSE and SLANT series both explore the spherical form of the hemisphere and use mixed media materials to express both the organic and industrial aspects of this form. I am totally involved with the hemisphere as a structure, the ordinary form that we see every day in its many incarnations; the egg, pod, or eye, the earth, planets, domes and the many concepts that these forms evoke; thoughts and feelings of life, birth, insight, the mystical and mysterious. The major thrust of the SLANT series is to push the idea of the hemisphere in conjunction with and in relation to the wedge form. The work explores the three-dimensionality of these structures and the emotional connections created by the relationships of these contrasting forms, materials and surfaces. The wedge forms add a dimensionality that activates the space, creating an architectural flow of form.

My work is material driven and explores interesting and unique materials. I consider the world my art supply store. I am fascinated with hardware. To me, hardware is sculpture, architecture, jewelry. Combining hardware with textured epoxy surfaces and other construction materials like tubing, rope, industrial insulation, and more, provides exciting challenges and unending possibilities. These surfaces and materials create intricate patterns. Everyday objects transform into new and visually exciting combinations that become "something else."

With each new idea comes a new learning process. I am constantly learning “how to make my art”.  How can I use the newly discovered materials or tools to express a particular concept? How do I combine certain materials? How can I attach or assemble these materials? I find this aspect of my work extremely challenging and exciting.

The works in both PULSE and SLANT involve repetition of forms. I find repetition to be comforting, a visually stabilizing force. The repetition is created by repetition of form; groups of structures that are the same size. These pieces are modular and are grouped in sets of two or three, or larger sets presented in rows and grids.  In my latest work, some of the groupings are irregular, sprawling forms that create angular, architecturally sculptured walls. The modular aspect of these works allows them to be displayed in numerous ways. Arranging the pieces becomes a creation in itself. The grouping of structures creates relationships between the forms and surfaces, and sets up visual identities, similarities and differences that can be compared and contrasted. The repetitions develop a synergy of form, surface and color that can be compared and contrasted.

My work is spontaneous and controlled, playful and serious, my own personal yin and yang. Creating these constructed worlds is a mystical event for me. Although the ideas flow from one piece to the other, there are always surprises. My goal is to use my unique aesthetic vision in an almost alchemical way to transform commonplace materials and familiar objects into beautifully crafted and highly imaginative formal statements.


1980     M.F.A. - Multimedia Art, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA                            

1978     M.A. - Painting, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA           

1973     B.F.A. - Painting and Drawing, University of Miami, Florida


 2017     Carol Brookes - Solo Exhibition, North Central College, Naperville, IL

2014     Slant: New Works by Carol Brookes, Robert F. DeCaprio Gallery, Moraine Valley Community College, IL

2013      Featured Artist Carol Brookes “Pulse,” Troy Fine Art, Southport, CT

Carol Brookes - “PULSE” Solo Exhibition, Akus Gallery, Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic, CT

2012      Carol Brookes - "PULSE" - Mixed Media Wall Sculpture, Viridian Artists Gallery, New York, NY

            Carol Brookes - New Works, McClarry Modern Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

            Carol Brookes - “Constructed Worlds”, Orland Park Public Library, Orland Park, IL

2011      Carol Brookes - Solo Exhibition “Pulse”, Illinois Central College, East Peoria, IL


 2018     Metamorphosis –Anne Lloyd Gallery - Madden Art Center Navy Pier, Decatur, IL

            Art is a Verb – Evanston Art Center, Evanston, IL

2017     Carol Brookes – SOFA Chicago, Navy Pier, Chicago, IL

            Creative Furnishings – Bridgeport Art Center, Chicago, IL

            Chicago Artists Interpret American Literature - Mary-Frances and Bill Veeck Gallery, Chicago, IL

2016     Art Expo New York, ADC/Blink Gallery, New York, NY

            Chicago Artists Interpret Shakespeare: As They Like It, Addington Gallery, Chicago, IL

After Tomorrow: Daring to Dream Again, Museo Internazionale Italia Arte (MIIT) – Curated by Sergio Gomez

            Making Nature, Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU), Chicago, IL

Breaking Criminal Traditions –The Human Rights Institute Gallery of Kean University, Union, NJ

2015     In the Spirit, Holiday Exhibition, Viridian Artists Gallery, NYC, NY

SOFA Chicago, Maria Elena Kravetz Gallery, Chicago, IL

Seductive Materials, Zhou B Art Center, Chicago, IL

            Sculpture Invasion, Koehnline Museum of Art, Des Plaines, IL

            Landfills, Bloomingdale Park District Museum, Bloomingdale, IL

2014     Viridian’s 45th Anniversary, Viridian Artists Gallery, New York, NY

Chicago Sculpture International, Lewis University Exhibition, Brent and Jean Wadsworth Family Gallery, Chicago, IL

Art Gathering: Sculptors Connect, Governors State University, Chicago, IL

Women's Works 2014 - NAAC, Old Court House Arts Center, Woodstock, IL

Equilibrium: Art for a Changing World, Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, IL

            Chicago Artists Interpret Shakespeare, Beverly Arts Center, Chicago, IL

2013      Eye of the Beholder: The Art of the Found Object, Maryland Federation of Art, Annapolis, MD

            Upcycled Art, Green Technology Center, Chicago, IL, Jurors First Place Award

Chicago Artists Interpret Shakespeare "As They Like It,” H.F. Johnson Gallery at Carthage College, Kenosha, WI

            Women's Works 2013 - NAAC, Old Court House Arts Center, Woodstock, IL

2012      Holiday Group Exhibition, Viridian Artists Gallery, New York, NY

            Women’s Works 2012 - NAAC, Old Court House Arts Center, Woodstock, IL

2011      Holiday Group Exhibition, Viridian Artists Gallery, New York, NY

            Hexagon: Six Chicago Artists, Old Town Art Center, Chicago, IL

            Eye of the Beholder, The Art of the Found Object, Maryland Federation of Art, Annapolis, MD

            Women’s Works 2011 - NAAC, Old Court House Arts Center, Woodstock, IL

            New Members & Associates, Viridian Artists Gallery, New York, NY