Artists: Mathew Cerletty, Julia Rommel
Venue: STANDARD (OSLO)
Exhibition Title: Stay-at-home-Dad
Organized by: Mary Grace Wright
Date: November 3 – December 9, 2017
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of STANDARD (OSLO). Photos by Vegard Kleven.
STANDARD (OSLO) is pleased to present a two-person exhibition of Mathew Cerletty and Julia Rommel entitled “Stay-at-Home Dad” organized by Mary Grace Wright.
The paintings and drawings of Mathew Cerletty are imbued with a sense of anticipation. We wait for the aquarium bubbles to rise to the surface, we wait for the bedside clock to reach 5:19, we wait for the moon to eclipse the sun. These eerily quiet works oscillate between domestic interior and surreal landscape, while encapsulating both the idea of “still” and “life”. I am reminded of Henri Rousseau’s “Surprised!”, 1891, in the collection of The National Gallery of London. The crouching tiger is ready to pounce while rain pours diagonally through the picture, and a sliver of lightning does less to illuminate the dramaturgy and more to add depth and emphasize movement. With Rousseau we easily complete the story, while Cerletty leaves underlying oddities that keep us guessing about the narrative’s true intention. The brand name of a space heater with its raging flames reads “Wedding Dress”, the solar system is presented on a single plane following no laws of understood science, and the perfectly arranged fish and foliage could only exist in the digital. Cerletty leads us to question our assumptions about what we see and recognition slowly fades.
Julia Rommel physically manipulates her canvases until arriving at a suitable intersection of composition and color fit for a convincing abstract painting. Each canvas is subjected to ritualistic origami. Rommel repetitively cycles through painting, stretching, painting, unstretching at shifting scales and awkward angles. The end result: an architectural pastiche with the history of its making just under the surface, that, or an instructional diagram for a paper plane. These pentimentos give substantial material weight to the final structure while also giving depth and dimension to the picture plane. A single zip across the horizon weaves itself in and out of the foreground questioning its history in the timeline. At the largest scale the compositions invite readings of stained glass windows and collapsing doorframes; though it’s unclear if we are on the outside looking in or confined by the reverse. The spatial qualities achieved through her layering simultaneously connect the work to traditional and aerial landscape. Titles come last and draw upon personal narratives such as a month traveling in Mexico or adopting a dog.
Similar ways of working bonded Cerletty and Rommel many years ago as professional confidantes and friends. Endless conversation about life – who should I date? what couch should I buy? how’s your mom? – merge and overlap with shared values in the studio. Cerletty’s lamp or aquarium could imaginatively furnish the architecture of Rommel’s paintings. And while each work contains its own world, it’s one that holds the shared questions the artists have asked each other over the years. Side by side the conversation continues, inevitably merging art and life where the creativity, persistence, and questioning necessary to complete a satisfying painting, can also help mold a modern life and family and home.
Mathew Cerletty (b. 1980, Milwaukee, Wisconsin) is an American artist living and working in Brooklyn, New York. Solo exhibitions include: Office Baroque, Blum & Poe, Algus Greenspon, Team Gallery, and Rivington Arms. Recent group exhibitions include: “Flatlands”, Whitney Museum of American Art; “Sputterances”, Metro Pictures, organized by Sanya Kantarovsky; “Friend ? ?”, Galerie Maria Bernheim, Zurich; “The Painter of Modern Life” curated by Bob Nickas, Anton Kern; “Before Midnight”, Karma, New York.
Julia Rommel (b. 1980, Salisbury, Maryland) is an American artist living and working in Brooklyn, New York. She has had multiple solo exhibitions with Bureau, New York, and has been included in numerous group exhibitions since 2010 including: Milwaukee Art Museum, Mitchell Algus Gallery, Luxembourg & Dayan, Lisson Gallery, Shane Campbell Gallery, Greene Naftali, and Bortolami. Her first solo museum exhibition was at the The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut in 2015 and her work is included in the collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
This is both artists’ first exhibition in Scandinavia.