For Mika Rottenberg's current exhibition at Magasin 3, she produced an impressive and arresting group of sculptures — cast resin and hand-painted textures that seem to have been ripped from the walls of one of her film sets. These sculptures reference an iconic tactility that is key to all of her films and installations. Since Gallery 2's program is committed to encouraging alternative modes for understanding new and historical material through filters that may alter our perception, Andrea Rosen Gallery is delighted to announce a complex new group exhibition that juxtaposes Rottenberg's sculptures with the evocative surfaces of works by Lynda Benglis, Sean Bluechel, Jean Dubuffet, and mid-century ceramicist Axel Salto.
An important painting from Dubuffet's Texturologie series avoids all figuration, but is not abstract. Literally a vast view of the ground seen from above, the gestural and gritty painting was intended to evoke a continuous, infinite space beyond the fragmented sphere of human action and intervention. Sean Bluechel prefers this dysfunctional arena, and his "Drunk Photos" engage multiple iconographies of sexuality, race and gender with a rough, physical sensibility. Axel Salto experimented with wild, organic forms and colors that were a radical departure from the prevailing, cool abstract styles of modern ceramics. Although his vessels are undoubtedly decorative, Salto was a trained painter fixated on formal problems – how does the thickness and sheen of a glaze change as it slides over bumps and into grooves? The dense, multi-colored accretions on Lynda Benglis's wax paintings are sensuous and visceral, but they are also ground-breaking, transitional pieces that demonstrate the artist's struggle to redefine painting and the relationship between the artwork and viewer in space.
All of these works give form to our sensory perceptions. As Lynda Benglis said, "I am involved with bodily response so that the viewer has the feeling of being one with the material and that action, both visually and muscularly…in other words, you draw out the complete body through the work."