John Rosewall’s solo exhibition “Grip” opens at Gallery 825 September 9th

John Rosewall’s solo exhibition “Grip” opens at Gallery 825 September 9th

John Rosewall Bargain

John Rosewall

Grip

Los Angeles Art Association/ Gallery 825
825 N La Cienega Blvd
West Hollywood, California 90069
http://www.laaa.org/
http://johnrosewall.com/

September 9 – October 13, 2017
Opening reception, September 9th 6-9pm

(Los Angeles) – Los Angeles Art Association is pleased to present Grip, a solo exhibition by Los Angeles based painter John Rosewall. Grip is both a noun and a verb. It means to take and keep a firm hold of something or to grasp tightly while simultaneously referencing a feeling or emotion as in to be gripped by… A grip, rather than to grip, references something is held in the hand, or for example a “tight grip.” The ambiguity and double entendre the word engenders is at the root of Rosewall’s paintings.

Seen in context of these definitions, Rosewall’s acrylic paintings both grip the viewer and illustrate the myriad ways people hold, or hold onto each other— be it a handshake, a pat on the back or a gesture of restraint. Each of Rosewall’s painting stems from the media and depicts altered images of violence culled from news photos. Painting them in muted colors, Rosewall reduces these appropriated images to their essential elements. Stripped of context, as Rosewall removes the background as well as any recognizable imagery or facial features, the scenarios become generic representations of violence taken for granted.

Most of Rosewall’s figures are anonymous– he rarely paints facial features– instead relies on gesture and implied bodily relationships. The act of aggression presented in painting such as Obedience and Cull (both 2016) depict two figures in the midst of a fight. In Cull one man has another in a chock hold. The victim, blindfolded by a thickly painted white sash, has an expression of anguish on his face. Only the strong muscular arms of his attacker are shown. Similarly, in Obedience, two figures tussle, their abstracted forms emerging from the deep black background. In Touch (2016) a disembodied black-gloved hand extends from a blue jacket resting on the back of a man wearing a stark white tank-top who faces the background void. Like Touch, Reach (2017) depicts the backside of a headset-wearing figure sitting in a chair facing a target on a computer screen. The man’s hand grips a red joystick.

The tight grip between two suited male figures shaking hands centered in Bargain (2017) clearly articulates the tensions Rosewall wants to present in these paintings. The works are about power, specifically the abuse of power and depict victims of violence, repression and exploitation. Through his painting, Rosewall communicates the reality of the human condition making aesthetic images that avoid the trap of aestheticizing violence.

John Rosewall, a self-taught artist living in Northeast Los Angeles, was born in Watsonville, California. He studied creative writing receiving a B.A. from UCLA (1984) and an M.A. from UC Davis (1986). Though he started out as a photographer making documentary style images, he later moved into abstraction and is now making quasi-representational paintings derived from news photographs. He states, he is “distilling the images into emblematic representations of violence, injustice, and oppression, with the aim of critiquing systems of power in the United States and abroad.”

Rosewall’s works have been presented as solo exhibitions at L.A. Artcore Brewery Annex (2014), Hale Arts Space (2013), drkrm (2012) and The San Luis Obispo Museum of Art. Local and national group exhibitions include Incarceration at Orange County Center for Contemporary Art (2017), Electric Salon, Los Angeles Center for Digital Art (2013) as well as shows at I5 Gallery and the Basement (2004, 2003). Rosewall also maintains the Blog Terrain. Begun in 2012 Terrain is an “interpenetration of news, critical theory, photographic images, essay writing, and most of all, painting.”

For more information please visit http://www.johnrosewall.com

 

 

John Rosewall Obedience

 

John Rosewall Cull

Author

Kristine Schomaker is a new media and performance artist, painter and art historian living and working at the Brewery artist complex in Los Angeles. For over 14 years she has been working with various interdisciplinary art forms including online virtual worlds to explore identity and the hybridization of digital media with the physical world. Whether virtual or physical, the object-based work Kristine creates combines elements of color-based gestural abstraction, animation, pattern and design, neo-Baroque and Populence. Using installation, text, photography, mixed media, video and performance for her ongoing conceptual project My Life as an Avatar, she visualizes a narrative/dialogue with her virtual persona, Gracie Kendal. Kristine then documents her experiences on her blog. In 2012, exploring ideas of community, Kristine turned a local gallery into a modern day creation of Gertrude Stein’s salon of the 1920’s with a live mixed-reality dinner party merging the physical world with the online virtual world. Over the summer she also performed The Bald and the Beautiful in which she had her head shaved as a statement to challenge society’s standards of beauty. Currently, Kristine is working as an Artist-in-Residence through the Linden Endowment for the Arts creating an immersive virtual environment which she is planning to bring into the physical world via sculpture/public art work.

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