ROSEGALLERY is pleased to announce Robbert Flick: Freeways. Large-scale color photographs will be on view 15 February – 12 April, 2014. An artist’s reception will be held Saturday, 15 February 2014 from 6-8.
Pioneering Los Angeles photographer Robbert Flick is known for working within and furthering the well-established tradition of California landscape photography and for his emphasis on the distinctive urbanscape of Los Angeles. After studying under Robert Heinecken at UCLA in the late 1960s, Flick produced a hard-edged series of photographs of empty parking structures in the late 1970s (Arena Series), and multi-image grids of the urban environment known as Sequential Views in the early 1980s. Flick’s Sequential Views consist of many still frames, highly-edited and arranged into formal and often expansive grids. They highlight an important shift in photographic practice from the reliance on the traditional static image and single “decisive moment” to the dynamic use of multiple images to convey the experience of the city and our perception of it through movement in space and time.
Freeways, Flick’s most recent body of work, is the latest extension of the artist’s exploration into photographic issues of subjectivity, space/time and seriality. Over the past ten years Flick has been intensely focused on photographing the landscape as seen while traveling by car or train during his regular commute between Claremont and downtown Los Angeles. He arranges the images captured during each journey into signature tracts of color, treating every frame like a brushstroke in a larger field. The resulting large-scale prints are characterized by a visual staccato that emulates the actual sensation of seeing the landscape as one traverses Los Angeles as we so often do; through the lens of our car windows. Through Flick’s work, we are allowed to experience the layering of our environment and the fractured way we have come to comprehend it as observer and observed move through space at different rates.
Viewed individually, these photographs are fragments written in a visual language of road and sky puntuated by palms, trucks, and buildings. Taken as a group, the fragments coalesce to form a sharpened observation of the rutted road of an often mindless and mechanized daily commute. The freeway unfolds across the picture plane like film strip, cut up and rearranged, presenting each moment both as unique and as an element in a larger scheme. In looking at Freeways we reflect on looking itself. Photography, the practice of an intentional and fixed looking, can fail to convey the way in which the world shifts based on minor variations in position and vantage point. Film alternately takes root in the camera’s ever-evolving and shifting perspective. In pinning down and isolating a specific vantage point while placing it within the context of perspectival deviations, Flick creates work that straddles the divide between the still and moving image and pushes the envelope of photography based in the new topographics tradition.
Robbert Flick is a native of Holland who relocated to Southern California in the 1960’s. He received a B.A. at the University of British Columbia and an M.A. and M.F.A. at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has been exhibiting his photographs for over 40 years and his work has been shown and collected at numerous private and public venues both nationally and internationally and is part of the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and the George Eastman House, Rochester, NY. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and the recipient of multiple fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Most recently, his work has been featured in Under The Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-1981, at MOCA. The retrospective Robbert Flick: Trajectories was shown at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2004, accompanied by a major LACMA/Steidl catalog. Flick has been a scholar at the Getty Research Institute and is Professor of Photography at the University of Southern California Roski School of Fine Arts, where he has taught since 1976.