Main Gallery

Alyse Rosner: Large Scale Work

Curator: Harry Philbrick

November 9, 2012—January 26, 2013


Alyse Rosner

This exhibition, organized by Director of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Museum Harry Philbrick, explores the recent work of Connecticut artist Alyse Rosner. After exhibiting Rosner’s work during his tenure at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Philbrick has closely followed the developments in Rosner’s style and artistic process. Through this exhibition Philbrick guides the visitor through the ways in which Rosner’s work has grown in scale, in spatial intricacy, and in the depth and breadth of its emotional complexity.

Rosner’s recent body of work melds direct rubbings of wood grain, gestural painting, and obsessive line drawing. Though the images draw on the traditions of photography and printmaking, they are unique works with each line drawn freehand and wood grain patterns rubbed from individual planks of wood.

These pieces follow nine years during which Rosner painted highly detailed, abstract miniatures on raw pine boards. The accumulation of tiny marks on the wood created a raised surface and distinct texture, which developed into rubbings of the miniature paintings. Later Rosner began to create more expansive rubbings, taken from the deck behind her kitchen. On top of this layer of wood grain pattern the organic dissemination of painted marks across the surface mutated into a more methodical system of painting and line drawing.

Rosner’s work is paradoxical: the wood grain images come from pressure treated decking—although they looks “natural” they are actually an impression taken from chemically infused wood manufactured to defy nature. The paper, which is synthetic and plastic-y, is an archival “green” material (Yupo) made of polypropylene. The work is largely driven by process and materials, however the selection of synthetic, natural,and chemical elements in combination with textures directly lifted from Rosner’s home lends the work personal resonance that simultaneously draws attention to more universal concerns.

On top of these un/natural surfaces Rosner paints with delicacy and intense abandon, channeling Indian miniatures and Philip Guston and creating beautiful, powerful works that are uniquely her own.

Read about this exhibition in Art New England.