Carol Diehl is a painter who marries the literal with the abstract in a futile attempt to find balance between order and chaos. Previously, she recorded the mundane incidents of her life on canvas in dense, painterly, often indecipherable formats of words, numbers and symbols. Over the past ten years, however, while endeavoring to say the most with the least means, she has gradually moved from gridded large-scale complexity to the relative spareness of pencil and ink on paper. Merging precision with spontaneity, these simple lines and gestures no longer signify days or months but mere moments—and internal, rather than external, events.
One-person exhibitions include the Berkshire Museum (Pittsfield, MA) in 2010, Richard Sena Gallery (Hudson, NY) in 2006, Gary Snyder Fine Art in 2002, and Hirschl & Adler Modern in 1996 and 1998. Diehl's paintings have been shown in group exhibitions at, among others, the Queens Museum of Art, the Aldrich Museum (CT), the Sidney Janis Gallery and the traveling museum exhibition entitled "New Directions" curated by Sam Hunter. Reviews of her work have appeared in Art in America, ARTnews, the New York Times, New York, the Village Voice, Review, the New Art Examiner, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the Chicago Daily News. Diehl is the recipient of artists' fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the MacDowell Colony for the Arts and the Millay Colony for the Arts.
Also known as an art critic and poet, Diehl is a Contributing Editor for Art in America, where she has written cover stories on Robert Irwin, Wolfgang Laib, Christian Marclay and Olafur Eliasson. Her writing has also been published in ARTnews, New York, Art & Auction, Art & Antiques (Contributing Editor 1984-1995), Metropolis, Review, Arts, and the New Art Examiner (founding Managing Editor). In 2011 she received a Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation grant for her blog, Art Vent.
Diehl has read her poetry in performance at St. Mark's Poetry Project, the Knitting Factory, and the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, as well as appearing with Butch Morris's "Chorus of Poets" at The Public Theater, the Whitney Museum and the Bang on a Can Festival at Lincoln Center. Her poetry is included in the anthology Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe (Henry Holt and Company), winner of the 1994 National Book Award.
She has contributed essays to several books including Olafur Eliasson Studio’s Spatial Experiments (2014), Along a Long Line by Michael Glier (2009), and A Place for the Arts: The MacDowell Colony, 1907-2007 (2007).
Diehl taught in the Graduate Fine Arts Program of the School of Visual Arts in New York from1996-2006, and served on the Core Faculty at Bennington College from 1998-2002. She has been a Visiting Artist and lectured at, among others, Yale University (Graduate Sculpture), Stanford University, the Graduate School of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania (Senior Critic), Columbia College (Chicago), Rochester Institute of Technology, the University for the Creative Arts, Canterbury, U.K., the University of Iowa, Massachusetts College of Art, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown (MA), the Vermont Studio Center, and in 2006 was the Forkosh-Hirschman lecturer at Arizona State University.
Diehl lives and works in New York City and southwestern Massachusetts.