Honor Fraser is pleased to present BALLYHOO HULLABALOO HABOOB, Rosson Crow’s second solo exhibition with the gallery.
Exploring the intimate psychological and emotional dimensions of nationalistic collective memory, Crow creates a series of works that take as a point of departure the exuberance and sobering aspects of past and recent gilded eras. Known for her theatrical and lush paintings that often feature decadent interiors, this new investigation marks a shift in the artist’s artistic process, tensely negotiating representational depictions and mnemonic interplay in painting. Rather than reproducing imagery associated with particular temporal and locational circumstances, the artist taps into mythologizing narratives, personal memories, and familial anecdotes to execute a psychoanalytic excavation of historical periods.
From bleak Dust Bowl towns to celebratory tickertape parades, Crow’s paintings are emblematic of American growth and decline. The exhibition’s title in part implies the pitfalls of such self-congratulatory excitement. In the tickertape canvases, the skewed perspectives and atmospheric maelstroms of staccato brushstrokes push to a near-abstraction. Emptied of figures, these works only obliquely refer to specific historical references, and often contain little narrative coherence in terms of space and structure. In representing the actual event so abstractly, the attention no longer focuses on what is depicted, but rather the feeling of a distinctly American bravado and celebratory energy that teeters on the verge of disorder and chaos. The show’s title also connotes the cyclical nature of American frenzy and loss with “haboob” (Arabic for huge sandstorm), which refers to both the Depression’s Dust Bowl and the recent massive dust-storms of the southwest. Working with a much darker palette, these paintings chart the quiet forlorn mood that accompanies economic obsolescence.
Dallas-born Rosson Crow lives and works in Los Angeles. She received her MFA from Yale University, and a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Solo museum exhibitions include FOCUS: Rosson Crow at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (2009) and Myth of the American Motorcycle at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati (2010). Crow has been included in exhibitions in museums internationally such as the Royal Academy of Arts, London, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburg, PA, Musee d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg, and The Macro Future Museum, Rome. Other recent solo exhibitions include: Bowery Boys, Deitch Projects, New York (2010); Paris, Texas at Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris (2009); and Texas Crude, White Cube, London (2009).