Artist: Mark Roeder
Venue: Michael Benevento, Los Angeles
Date: November 9 – December 21, 2019
Full gallery of images, press release, and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Michael Benevento, Los Angeles
Michael Benevento is pleased to present an exhibition by Los Angeles artist Mark Roeder. The artist’s third exhibition with the gallery consists of 9 new paintings, 3 wax sculptures, and 12 shelving-unit sculptures.
From Samuel Beckett’s Lessness from 1969: “Ruins true refuse long last towards which so many false time out of mind. All sides endlessness earth sky as one no sound no stir. Grey face two pale blue little body heart beating only upright. Blacked out fallen open four walls over backwards true refuse issueless.”
Lessness is a story, a text or an exercise more than a story, of limited words, and a consistent guide for Roeder’s practice. Beckett put restrictions on the number of words and sentences — something like sixty and then sixty more repeated in another order. One body finds shelter (true refuge) in some ruins. Light is a repeated motif. Grey light. Maybe like the light of the clouds in the big painting. Maybe ominous. Maybe premonitory. Maybe just the reflection of light in the marine layer.
Of the 9 new paintings, some are black-and-white, consistent with the aesthetic approach the artist established previously in his practice, and some, for the first time, feature a subtle color palette. Roeder makes paintings from an inventory of image types (the number of images is always growing but their categories remain somewhat fixed). The painted imagery occasionally goes through an appropriated style, as is the case in a new work depicting an illustration of two dogs fighting, but more commonly in this exhibition the artist leans into his stylistic interpretations, as is evident in new paintings of California landscapes.
The 3 dead bird sculptures are formed by hand from a wax derived from crude oil. A sparrow, a crow, and a pelican — still-life objects in conversation with the artist’s ongoing series of shell sculptures.
The shelving unit sculptures further articulate Roeder’s investigations into still-life, appropriation, collection, display, and collage. The 12 wood shelving units, of someone else’s design, house an arrangement of new works.