Walter Robinson, Souvenir, 1996, polychromed wood, 68 x 18 x 4″

Although isolation is the right response in our current environment, social distancing can have an effect on our mental health. We are wired for human connection, which raises some questions: What can people do to minimize the risk of being lonely when cut off from direct human contact? How can we not only survive, but thrive during a period of social isolation?

Many artists have been known to enjoy solitude, so we asked some Turner Carroll artists for their perspective, and did some research and introspection ourselves. In fact, according to a global study on the value of creativity conducted by the creative software giant Adobe, seven in 10 people report that they prefer to work by themselves when being creative. Isolation from the noise of our previous daily routines can offer the time, quiet, and space for our inner creative voice to emerge. It also takes getting out of your comfort zone. Look out the window and pay attention. Observe. Look at life through a different lens. Try something new, and don’t expect yourself to be good at it. As an art gallery, of course we’d like to invite you to try making some art. Whether you’re doodling from your own mind or trying to copy a famous landmark or painting, making art connects your mind to your hands, which gets that creative brain going, and has been proven to have positive effects on your overall mental well-being.

Below are some of the insights and nuggets of wisdom we have collected over the past week. Enjoy!

-Shastyn Blomquist, Director, Turner Carroll Gallery


Solitary time in the studio is golden. It is the only time in which I can be left alone with my thoughts–uninterrupted—to explore creative curiosities. Only in solitude can I experiment freely, without prying eyes or commentary, thus allowing me to dig deeper within myself, which ultimately leads to creating more meaningful artwork.

Expansive, uninterrupted solitary time is often fertile, and can be used to sow seeds of new possibilities for the future. With more time for introspection, in-depth research and learning, we can reflect on how to go forward in life (and work) in a more dynamic and fulfilling way.

-Monica Lundy


For me, time in solitude is for self-reflection and for nurturing self-love. A few days ago, my mind-set was completely shifted from inhibited to calm then to spontaneous. I have a feeling that this is happening collectively.

-Etsuko Ichikawa


Comfort in solitude is something you cultivate. Art is time-based, and you need that isolation to get the work done. You also have to have something really great to listen to in your audio field: books, radio, podcasts, so you feel connected to the world.

-Jamie Brunson


While very difficult in some respects, this unprecedented time has eliminated so many of the activities that filled my days before. I feel myself more able to focus on simple routines and pleasures, and I cope by making sure I build those into every day. Planning meals, taking walks, roaming my home and garden with my camera. I don’t know what will emerge from my creative practice; however I believe the impact is profound and will inform everything I make – sometimes in an obvious way and sometimes more subtly.

-Natalie Christensen


An essential part of my work over the years has been a direct result of the solitary pursuit in the sanctity of the studio.

It is through solitude that one can connect with the essential, and have an awareness of interconnectivity of All. 
Tapping into the intuitive mind is a direct result of the acceptance of fecund solitude and the acute awareness of the need to create art that speaks to the soul.
To be honest, even if the current psychological strain weighs on me, it has not changed my way of working and functioning. We are constantly bombarded with information, and accustomed to a continuity of experiences- for me it is essential to sift and distill it all through my work. Painting is essentially a solitary pursuit

-Raphaelle Goethals


I was just thinking about a personality type that has or doesn’t have a passion. Isolation is part of internal problem-solving. If they don’t have an idea about what to do when they’re alone, maybe now they can take the time alone to figure out what they’re really passionate about and embrace it. Every night, I go to sleep thinking about all the things I’d like to have time to do by myself the next day, and I take comfort in that I get to see where that will lead.

-Walter Robinson


People are saying right now is like the Apocalypse, but it might actually be a rebirth, like the Renaissance was after the darkness of the Middle Ages.

I don’t really look at my sequestered hours painting as “isolation” in the way we’re experiencing now during this age of pandemic. I go to the studio, a space that’s grown around my life and practice wherever I’ve lived. It makes what I do possible, so it’s a point of destination. What seems to pass for isolation is the focus required. You have to shut out all of the voices and doubts in order to concentrate, to lose yourself in the process, and that’s mostly a lone effort. I’m paraphrasing, but like Philip Guston said, “gradually as I work everyone leaves the room until it’s just me, and then if I’m lucky, I leave, too.” When and if you’re able, a different sort of dialogue transpires while working, and this conversation takes on its own reality. So, it never really feels like isolation unless you give into being self-conscious, and then you’re all too aware of yourself and what you’re doing to produce something of consequence.

-Scott Greene


When I was five years old, I remember standing by myself for too long, too close, to a large painting at the National Gallery in DC. The gallery guard came over to me and told me I needed to move back. I was so lost in the world of the painting, that extended above and beyond my reach, that I was completely startled. Years later, I took my own daughter to the Uffizi in Florence when she was 5. There, she stood in front of Botticelli’s Primavera for what seemed like an eternity for a young child. When we walked away, I asked her what she liked most about the painting, thinking I knew everything about it, since it’s a landmark of art history. But her response blew me away. She said it was incredible how many different types of flowers he put in the painting. Every art history book includes reverence and awe for Botticelli’s ability to paint the diaphanous gowns on the three graces, translucent veils on the magical figures in the painting, as well as the exquisite handling of tempera paint. I had never even considered that all the flowers in the lower portion of the painting were remarkable in their difference. I researched and discovered that Botticelli had, in fact, included approximately 500 different species of plants found in Italy, with 190 of them being different types of flowers. Had I not heard my daughter’s view from three feet tall, I may have never appreciated this extraordinary part of the painting. Taking the time/having the luxury of being given the time to realize what you think about art and to ask others what they see through their own lens, is an enlightening gift.

-Tonya Turner Carroll


With this unprecedented and prolonged period of isolation we are universally experiencing, I’ve taken this time adapt and to settle into a different pace — one with fewer distractions, a different way of being and doing, a time to simplify down to the core essentials, a focused moment to take stock and connect with my soul and the souls of others. I’m actively taking this opportunity to be more present, to reaffirm what is truly important in this life, to listen to the birds and appreciate the purer air, to be at ease with and truly absorb the quiet, to spend meaningful time connecting with friends and just listening, to identify the silver linings in the darkest of clouds, to be mindful of the tiny glimmers of hope as this global pandemic reinforces our unavoidable, profoundly impactful, and too often forgotten oneness, and to be grateful for the beautiful gifts of love, kindness, and compassion that we have the power to spread, right now, in this very moment.

-Jeffery Kuiper, Director, Turner Carroll Gallery


Twenty years ago I spent one of the most memorable days of my life in the company of John Berger. On a trip to visit my dear friend in Paris, filmmaker Rodrigo Dorfman, we decided to meet Mr. Berger, and tramped off to find him. Some hours later we were warmly ushered in to his cozy house in the Paris suburbs. As a university student we read and studied his seminal work, Ways of Seeing. As a relatively newly-minted art dealer, to meet the author sent me over the moon. We did not talk about art history for long, however.  The extraordinarily kind John Berger wanted to know all about my friend and me, and after some number of bottles of wine I opened up with a torrent of tears about the death of my mother. Hours later Rodrigo and I poured ourselves onto the street wide-eyed and ready to devour the world. For me as a young man at the beginning of his life’s work, to meet Mr. Berger, the man, sent me to the stars.

-Michael Carroll




featuring Judy Chicago, Etsuko Ichikawa, Hung Liu, Monica Lundy, Lien Truong, Karen Yank, Meridel Rubenstein, Julie Richard Crane and Jami Porter-Lara

On View Through April 4, 2020

Burned: Women and Fire features artists who—like the alchemical Phoenix who burns and rises from the ashes anew—integrate their collective experience with fire and burning to create their art. [read on here]



Make your travel plans to join us!

February 28 | Burned: Women and Fire featuring Judy Chicago, Lien Truong, Monica Lundy, Etsuko Ichikawa, Hung Liu, and more

May 15 | Hunt Slonem

June 19 | Drew Tal

July 17 | Raphaelle Goethals

August 14 | Hung Liu Retrospective Works

September 11 | Scott Greene + Walter Robinson

October 1-4 | Dallas Art Fair

October 16 | Igor Melnikov + Georges Mazilu

November 20 | Rusty Scruby



Judy Chicago - Baltic and Brooklyn MuseumJUDY CHICAGO

Judy Chicago
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
Gateshead, UK
On View Through April 19, 2020

On Fire: Judy Chicago Fireworks with Photographs by Donald Woodman
Through the Flower Artspace
Belen, NM
Ticketed Opening July 26, 2020

Judy Chicago: A Retrospective
de Young Museum
San Francisco, CA
Opening summer 2020

The Dinner Party
Brooklyn Museum
Brooklyn, New York
Permanent Installation
Jim Dine - Enigma PinocchioJIM DINE

Enigma Pinocchio
Villa Bardini at Leonardo da Vinci Art School
Firenze, Italy
On View Through March 22, 2020

Scott Greene - Environmental Impact IISCOTT GREENE

Environmental Impact II
The North Carolina Arboretum
Asheville, NC
On View Through May 10, 2020

Dennos Museum Center 
Traverse City, MI
Opens June 7, 2020

Alexandria Museum of Art
Alexandria, LA
Opens March 1, 2021
Hung Liu - Celebrating Jordan SchnitzerHUNG LIU

Woman-Made: From the Collection
Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art
Tarpon Springs, FL
On View Throught April 19, 2020

Myriad Treasures: Celebrating the Reinstallation of the Soreng Gallery of Chinese Art
Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art
Eugene, OR
On View Through February 14, 2021

Hung Liu Retrospective
Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery
Washington, D.C.
Opens May 2021
Meridel Rubenstein - TrinityMERIDEL RUBENSTEIN

Trinity: Reflections on the Bomb
Albuquerque Museum
Albuquerque, NM
Opens May 23, 2020

Breath Taking
New Mexico Museum of Art
Santa Fe, NM
On View Through September 13, 2020