Artist: Rob Pruitt
Venue: Gavin Brown, New York
Exhibition Title: Multiple Personalities
Date: September 13 – October 25, 2014
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York.
Gavin Brown’s enterprise is pleased to present MULTIPLE PERSONALITIES, an exhibition of new paintings and sculptures by Rob Pruitt. For his first exhibition at the gallery since 2010, Pruitt leaves behind his trademark mixture of pop extravagance and pointed social critique, turning inward to further explore the multiple personalities that have influenced his markedly different bodies of work.
In the latest from his ongoing series of “Suicide Paintings,” the stark combinations of hand-painted gradients employ a color palette suggestive of sea and sky, each intimating a threshold into a potentially infinite expanse. These spectral fields simultaneously recall Rothko’s emotionally resonant abstractions, the celestial background of a Mac startup screen, and the window out of which Yves Klein leapt into the void. Regardless of any connotations given by the title of the series, what lies beyond the surface of each painting remains ambiguous.
Pruitt will also introduce a new body of paintings based on a series of automatic drawings made during his ongoing therapy sessions. Enlarged and printed with a VUTEk QS3200 printer over heavily impastoed surfaces, the paintings unveil the inner-workings of the artist’s mind by reproducing gestures that originate from the sanctity of the therapist’s couch. Areas of each painting are later overpainted by hand, suggesting the fluidity of memory and its capacity to be revised. Alongside this work is a parallel project rendered by a chorus of his studio assistants who have covered upholstered sofas and plywood table tops with unrestricted and unedited drawings made during lunch breaks, resulting in surfaces that gush like rivers of multiple streams of consciousness.
Aiming to replicate the chaos and the calm within each of us, Pruitt’s new work is about contemplating options rather than objects, and considering passageways to new places rather than choosing to remain still. These pieces urge us to see beyond our self-imposed walls. In the words of the late poet Maggie Estep, “think of this as a window.”