Carlson Hatton received his BFA from The Cooper Union, New York and an MFA from De Ateliers, Amsterdam. He is a Laureate of Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht. His work has been exhibited at the Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA; Carnegie Art Museum, Oxnard, CA; Redlands University, Redlands, CA; Da Weng Residency, Shenzhen, China; Irvine Fine Art Center, Irvine, CA, among others. His work is included in the collections of the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Los Angeles, CA; the Polsinelli Art Collection, Los Angeles, CA; the Da Wang Culture Highlands Arts Residency, Shenzhen, China; Metro Art, Los Angeles, CA. His work has been featured in publications including the Los Angeles Times, New American Paintings, and art ltd. In 2017, he was awarded an LA Metro Art commission. Hatton lives and works in Los Angeles and is a Professor of Fine Art and Division Head of Drawing at Santa Monica College.
More than a dozen works of art by 14 artists were commissioned for the new Metro K Line that opened last week. Artwork for the stations on the route was integrated at the plaza, concourse and platform levels. Riders will experience new neighborhood landmarks showcasing culture and community. Artists include Ingrid Calame, Eileen Cowin, Kenturah Davis, Dean Erdmann, Sherin Guirguis, Carlson Hatton, Mara Lonner, Geoff McFetridge, Rebeca Méndez, Erwin Redl, Kim Schoenstadt, Jaime Scholnick, Shinique Smith and Mickalene Thomas.
Every time I encounter Carlson Hatton’s work, I come away with distinct sensory experiences of each artwork’s components: paint, shadows, shapes, and objects—human or otherwise. A barrage of images, whether figures or scenes from his paintings, appear in my mind like past movies or dreams, to finalize his confluence of art and its impact.
It was also exhilarating to visit the post-pandemic expansions of Anat Ebgi Gallery and Luis de Jesus Gallery, both of which have relocated and expanded their programs. Carlson Hatton’s must-see exhibition of dynamic, multi-layered paintings in one gallery room at Luis de Jesus, navigates complex detours and returns by combining dense patterning, intricate figuration and subtle marking in emotionally-charged, vibrant colors.
My bias in art appreciation leans toward figuration/realism. I like abstraction particularly when it informs the emotional nature of realism. Carlson Hatton is a terrific painter. The “armature” for his painting is the figure/realism which he then emotionally deconstructs by abstraction. Hatton’s talent portends ever better painting to be seen in LA.
Hatton's latest body of work explores the psychological and physical terrain of the post-pandemic world.
The collective work resulted in a “bright, “vibrant,” “rhythmic” and richly layered project that references, among other things, jazz, the Inglewood-raised saxophonist Kamasi Washington, the late rapper and entrepreneur Nipsey Hussle, and low-rider car culture. Though it’s been 20 years since Hatton moved to L.A., the city is still revealing itself. When he embarked on the Crenshaw/LAX project, his impressions and understanding of the city shifted.
I’m primarily interested in making paintings and drawings but I think that my practice is largely influenced from editing video work. At some point, I got tired of all that I depended on to make video installations, but I still wanted that complexity within my work. The passage of time, multiple viewpoints, and the experiences, sources and interests that lurk behind all images
In each canvas, Carlson Hatton creates a filigree of geometric and organic shapes that cohere against black backgrounds or fields of sky blue. Playing with positive and negative imagery and all sorts of layered effects, Hatton is adept at weaving together colors and shapes into unified, complex paintings that possess the looseness and abandon of street graffiti combined with a crisp exactitude. Some works have realistic elements in the foreground isolated against a maze of abstraction, but this recognizable imagery is the exception; most figurative and objective elements are well camouflaged.
Artist Carlson Hatton is hard at work developing his artwork for Hyde Park Station, part of the Crenshaw/LAX Line. Inspired by his many explorations in the community, his concept is to capture the musical vibrancy and historical legacy of the area in a fresh and contemporary manner. The artwork imagery aims to balance the energy and social nature of the commercial boulevard with the tranquility of home gardens found in the neighborhoods in between. All set within compositions filled with intricate patterns and color resonant of the light and sky at sunset and sunrise.
“Technically, I’m reproducing or miss-using rudimentary print techniques, but conceptually I try to reference a visually complex world that I think we’re out of sync with,” explains Hatton. “I want to offer perspectives that are not fixed; they are in flux and comment on the bombardment of info that smothers us daily. The work is informed by Photoshop, printmaking, and collage because of the infinite sense of layering that all three offer.”
Carlson Hatton’s immense and powerful exhibition of mostly mixed media drawings on view at the Barrett Art Gallery at Santa Monica College is both fantastical and compositionally complex. Working in a variety of media including oil, pastels, watercolor and pencil, Hatton’s drawings are endlessly inventive as each of the many images function both as discreet object but also as an indispensible fragment of a much broader and comprehensive visual tapestry.
I predominately work on paper. I love the fragility, the flatness, the lightness, the way that watery color sinks into it, and the fact that you only have so many chances to get it right before you’ve gone too far. There’s no re-gessoing or sanding back down for me.