July 3rd, 2020

Mark A. Rodriguez at Park View/Paul Soto

Artist: Mark A. Rodriguez

Venue: Park View/Paul Soto, Los Angeles

Exhibition Title: Great Recession Drawings

Date: June 17 – July 3, 2020

Click here to view slideshow

Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.


Images courtesy of Park View/Paul Soto, Los Angeles

Press Release:

This summer Park View / Paul Soto invites you to visit a suite of solo projects by gallery artists Mark A. Rodriguez, Victoria Colmegna, and J. Parker Valentine. Beginning Wednesday, June 17, the gallery in Los Angeles will be by appointment, with summer hours Wednesday – Friday from 12 to 5pm. We are adhering to strict social distancing standards and ask that all visitors please book an appointment with our automated system in advance. Appointments are limited to one visitor plus guest. We ask that visitors please wear their own PPE while visiting the space. If this is not possible, PPE will be provided onsite. To book an appointment for a 30-minute time slot, please click here.

Beginning June 17, Park View / Paul Soto are pleased to debut Great Recession Drawings at the gallery, a selection of historical works by Mark A. Rodriguez produced between 2008 and 2009, during the last financial crisis in the US. During that time, Rodriguez turned towards paper as an economical means to flesh out his ideas about monumental sculpture. The intimacy of the medium became a private way to address public space. He began experimenting with “Supergraphics” associated with the Postmodern architectural movement of the 1960s and 1970s, a genre of large-scale iconography whose seductive aspects served as a means for ideological promotion. Related to this, the suite of smaller scaled works in the show illustrate bold graphic forms – flowers, thumbs, and ducks. Rodriguez drew these images in pairs and isolated them individually in thick black borders, producing binaries that generate a tension or ambiguity in their meaning. Below these renderings are German phrases translated from slogans or public service announcements reinvented by the artist, which accompany the imagery like propaganda. These works appear to hold a message, yet what they desire to promote remains seemingly suspended and elusive.

“Louise” and “Joseph,” the two large graphite works which hang towards the rear of the gallery, are drawings of windows that serve as homages to Rodriguez’s parents, imparting an altogether different tone to the exhibition. The artist’s mother is disabled, and his father is her primary caretaker, and thus most of their shared life is confined to the home. The windows were drawn from their respective bedrooms, vantages that each looks out from on a daily basis. Patterns of vines, bricks, newspaper, stained glass, and sky intermingle with one another in the drawings, forming a frozen kaleidoscope of figure ground instability. The German text underneath these two works (translated in English to say, “Joy Without End” and “Even Then Still”) carries a religious air, imparting a sanctuary-like energy onto their visual points-of-view.

A portion of the sales from Great Recession Drawings will be donated by the gallery and artist to Reach LA, whose mission is to engage and empower young LGBTQ people of color and their communities; and No Us Without You, who is providing food and security for undocumented back-of-house staff in Los Angeles during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Link: Mark A. Rodriguez at Park View/Paul Soto

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