Oil on canvas mounted on board
8 x 6 inches
Signed and dated upper left
Provenance: Mr. and Mrs. Haig Tashjian Davis & Long Company, New York
Exhibited: "American Realist and Impressioninst Paintings from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Haig Tashjian." Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville, South Carolina, March 10-April 22, 1984. “American Paintings.” Davis & Long Company, New York, October 6-October 27, 1976. illustrated cat. #6
In Arranging Flowers, Carlsen pays homage to the great French still life painter Chardin, and demonstrates his own talent with interesting textures, colors and loose, expressive brushstrokes. The title conjures more conventional genre images of upper class women working with floral arrangements, yet here we have a girl dressed in Hellenic costume stretching her shapely arms towards—but not necessarily focusing her gaze upon—a bowl of haphazardly organized white flowers. He creates a moody atmosphere by enveloping the sitter in a dark, undefined space. The almost abstract looking flowers litter the floor around her, and the whole scene is dreamlike; this small work is an exercise in light and composition rather than a simple genre scene.