Rare Device: Leah Rosenberg, “Six of One”

by Admin on 01/25/2012

Leah Rosenberg‘s sculptural-like paintings in her solo show at Rare Device, “Six of One” are powerful, meditative investigations into some of the most fundamental characteristics of painting.

The title of the show, “Six of One”  is derived from an idiom used to indicate equivalence (also known as “half a dozen of the other“). The solo show title is cleverly used to refer to the three pairs of paintings that make up the show, each a slight variation of the other but all made up of the same characteristics of color, accrual and lines. Rosenberg writes of her work, “Each piece is a concentration of the many “paintings.” I am not refering here to the paintings in terms of finished art works, but rather “paintings” as a gerund, a series of consecutively painted actions.”

While contemporary art in many ways leans towards visual overstimulation and perhaps overt contextualization, Rosenberg’s self-referential artworks unassumingly illustrate and quietly confront audiences with the difficult questions of painting and “paints’ inherent materiality.” The accumulation of acrylic paints are both an investigation into the medium of paint and its time-making, chronicling the moments, days, and weeks and the moments in between. The selection of color stems from both a personal preference and a selection of external inspiration by everyday life experiences. The geometric abstraction and layers signify Rosenberg’s careful distillation of these into fragmentation, like a memoir. With multiple layers, especially the paint sculpture works in the front windows, Rosenberg’s works also cleverly blur the lines between a sculpture and painting, which in the 1960s “grew out of the issues of abstract painting and was evidence of the desire of painters to move into real space by rejecting behind-the-frame illusionism.”

Leah Rosenberg’s Six of One is on view at Rare Device until February 29, 2012


 Rosenberg’s collage works

 Leah Rosenberg