Artist: James Rosenquist
Venue: Jablonka, Berlin
Exhibition Title: The Hole in the Center of Time
Date: September 5- October 25, 2008
Full gallery of images, press release, and link available after the jump.
Jablonka Galerie is pleased to announce an exhibition of ten new paintings by the celebrated American artist James Rosenquist. Entitled The Hole In The Center of Time, this series furthers the artist’s departure from the figurative, consumer-culture realism that characterized his iconic early work and cemented his historical prominence within the 1960’s Pop Art movement. Rather, these recent paintings represent Rosenquist’s increasing affinity for abstraction, particularly as a vessel for theoretical exploration.
The exhibited works are explicit investigations into the nature of time. As with his previous series Speed of Light, a direct reference to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, these paintings elicit a palpable sense of velocity and the infinite. Distorted forms shatter and dissolve against fractured planes, while familiar symbols of the temporal, such as clocks and pencils, are either embraced or assaulted by the all-encompassing metaphysical. In the catalogue published on the occasion of Rosenquist’s recent exhibition at Acquavella Galleries, New York, Sarah Bancroft writes, “Like a person gazing at the stars and pondering the vastness of the universe, these paintings contemplate the profundity of time in its many guises and dimensions.”
Contrary to the popular theme of time in relation to human mortality, these works delve into the physical properties of time as it pertains to space. Although representational elements are interspersed throughout the series in the artist’s signature, hyper-realistic style, Rosenquist utilizes his technical skill to visually articulate the intangible, i.e. vortexes and gravitational currents, as opposed to the material alone. In certain works, the artist has gone so far as to incorporate actual objects – a laser clock, revolving mirrors – in the canvas, that serve to anchor reality against the artist’s invented abstraction of the space-time continuum, thereby juxtaposing literal objectivity and its antithesis.
Ironically, The Hole In The Center of Time was initially inspired not by the cosmos, but by a prehistoric cave that the artist toured while traveling in Spain, which he explains, “My visit to the cave left me with an uncanny feeling, and I knew I had to ask myself a few questions about time in the next series of work. I wasn’t looking to answer questions, rather I was discovering new questions to ask myself – How do you use time? What do you do with it? – simple questions, questions of perception.” It is precisely this
persistence in challenging diverse modes of perception, whether aesthetic or
philosophical, that has secured Rosenquist’s legacy as a pillar of contemporary visual culture, both at present and beyond.
A fully illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition. Please note that, in
collaboration with ABC (Art Berlin Contemporary), the exhibition will be open to the public beginning September 5th, but the vernissage will be held September 12th. For more information please contact the gallery.