~ROB PRUITT . . Multiple Personalities / revised MON SEPT 22
. . talk to me !!
ROB PRUITT – ‘Multiple Personalities’
opened SAT SEPT 13, 2014
runs thru OCT 25, 2014
Gavin Brown’s enterprise – 620 GREENWICH ST, WEST SIDE, NYC
for sure, I caught ROB PRUITT’S opening this past Saturday.
multiple personalities ?
more like . . bi-polar split !!
I needed a little time to think about it.
a two-headed monster of an exhibit – if I ever did see one !!
it spoke with a real rush, the ‘studio love seats’ – to our collective, smart-ass media-driven ‘ups’ – and to our deeper . . ‘downs’, the ‘suicide paintings’ which captured the less obvious spiritual longings, and the secret, non-verbal . . self-reflections, we al carry within.
only YOU . . can be a mirror into YOUR OWN SOUL ?
in a word: communication.
note the ode to JEFF KOONS, at left.
and . . BART SIMPSON.
the start of the show hit you in the face, with quite the opposite smack of the soft-pedaled lo-fi water fountain, outside . . in fact it seemed to me – that this was the ‘multiple personalities’ (duh) theme of the show in action: quiet contemplation (running water), smack (wise-cracking furniture), self-therapy (free-form primitive gesture painting), and finally a good sobering dose of inner reflection, termed: suicide . . (paintings), but if suicide is that beautiful – let me in.
though just for a day, life on planet earth calls (his 2014 calendar on the front office walls).
the inner and the outer states of being . . ‘bio’, man.
being human is . . complicated.
self-expression, how we deal with the larger culture that screams around us, & finally – contemplation of the . . inner infinite.
what’s larger, what’s the bigger force ?
the huge media circus we live in, or the infinite unknown . . within/without ?
this one in particular . . was talkin’ right at me.
with a kind of cosmic scary – rigid fascist black and white pattern, beyond them.
in my mind – it’s a metaphor . . for the religious fascist fanatic mindset out there, in the ‘beyond’, vs the creative freedom we find here ?
Rob also seems to have adopted, maybe ‘branded’ is the better word – a more standard black & white checkerboard platform – to visually high-light the free-form & text-driven ‘creative’ on the up-right lunch tables, and also uses them as contrasting ‘foils’ aka platforms – for the collage message board ‘love seats’, too.
again, personality . . splits.
and checkerboard . . marks the s-p-a-c-e.
see: GBE archive
but what I really liked, in this play into the space of the gallery, were the ordinary sand bags mooring the tables from tipping over.
what did I like so much about them ? I liked how they were so ordinary, so causal, yet so functioning – so anonymous – just like the pick-up truck outside.
but I also liked them for the continuity they offered me. they made me think of the quelle fun journey into clay, muddguts, ebay bowling, and pigeons I took this summer, ending up with Pat McCarthy’s miniature cinder blocks – in Satan Ceramics. how fun. sand bags to mini cinder blocks – well, that’s how my personality breaks . . down. nice touch.
a down-to-earth detail in a prism of conceptual-ism . . . throw me a bread crumb, and I’ll run with it, any day.
SHIT BEGET SHIT.
for such a successful artist, Rob sure harbors some pretty dark thoughts.
multiple personalities, anybody ?
or just the world . . how the world turns.
life is shitty, and then you die.
well, with thoughts like that – no wonder his mind turns to . . suicide ?
well, first off – I’ll let somebody else talk about the sand scattered all about, but esp I liked, and wondered about how these reflective surfaces – came across as so inward-directed ?
washing over me like . . the sea, waves ?
was infinity . . inward or outward ?
or – is that the point ?
endless circle with no beginning, no end.
also really, really liked how the outer ‘borders’ had been kept so minimal, and gray.
again, check out his archive.
though it struck me as a little off-key that these inward reflections, paintings so sophisticated in their ‘soul-catching’, as well as their rendering . . would lead into a room of free-form primal ‘dalliances’, the so-called ‘Therapy’ paintings.
but maybe – that was the point.
transcendence vs day-to-day anxiety.
maybe they were there for people who can’t understand art – unless it has a gestural arm movement ?
maybe they were there to highlight the experience of the room before ?
the room before was like looking into . . mother-of-pearl.
this room was akin to confronting inner insecurity, and bad demons ?
loved the homage to Mr. Helvetica himself, MASSIMO VIGNELLI, RIP.
they made some gorgeous posters for the show . . . a suicide painting.
those suicide paintings were my absolute fav.
I’d take that suicide trip-tych – in the front alcove, all 3, hands down, in a split second.
and, well . . maybe the truck fountain too.
to check out . . .
ANDREW GUENTHER & DEAR DERRICK – up next !!
and, I would have been feeling mighty shitty, and pretty grouchy myself – if I had had to hoof it by foot & mass transport over to Gowanus . . which is what my past, as my ghostman DAN ASHER would say … 30 shitty years in New York as a hardcore prankster, or is that hustler – boiled down to, hoofing it. except now I have my kid with his wheels driving me around, so. so – what a difference a set of wheels make.
multiple personalities sure do melt away, on the wheels of a fast, sleek car in the rain.
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH