Rosson’s shows often relate to the history of the city in which they are exhibited: a Paris show at Nathalie Obadia featured the gardens of Versailles, Fontainebleau and the Loire chateaux crossed with Las Vegas casino floors; a Los Angeles show at Honor Fraser Gallery featured famous LA architecture and Dwight Yoakam; while her last exhibition, Texas Crude, at White Cube in London, focused belching black oil rigs in Texas and Francis Bacon butcher shops. This time around she uses her adopted home of NYC as her inspiration exploring the history of “bad boys” in underground art and as an agent of culture in the city that never sleeps.
From the flamboyance of a wild-style bombed train pulling into a subway station in the 80s to a haunting red opium den from Chinatown in the 1880s, Rosson explores the rebellious and lawless side of New York City history. Rendered in hallucinatory layers of oil paints and washes, her theatrical confabulations collapse centuries and synthesize styles to reveal the multiply haunted nature of interior space and the affinities that align across time.
The exhibition features a series of large scale bold, and unabashedly entertaining oil paintings. One features a superimposition of the stained glass windows of gothic Bowery Mission onto the interior of its odd Bowery neighbor, the New Museum; a second pairs a vintage New York City sex club, Plato’s Retreat, with the new Andre Balazs’ Boom Boom Room and a Bruce Nauman neon; a third adorns a 1800s barber shop with 80s Allen Ruppersburg texts from the MoMA in bold Brillo Box (and Deitch) colors. Some canvasses straightforwardly conjure the artist’s imagining of “bad boy” dens or lairs without the historical hybridization: Kenny Scharff’s black light disco Cosmic Cavern, Dash Snow and Dan Colen’s NEST exhibition at Deitch Projects, or Keith Haring’s more child-friendly Pop Shop.
This exhibition will be a fitting epitaph to one of the city’s most daring galleries, Deitch Projects is aligned with the cultural trends explored in Rosson’s paintings. Jeffrey Deitch has been an instrumental figure in maintaining and shaping the legacies of the city’s artists, and the current position of Deitch Projects as exhibiting and supporting the current generation of rebellious youth and underground art from this lineage was very much in the forefront of Rosson’s mind when creating this show.
Opening on March the 4th, if you are in NYC this is will be a show not to miss. But, dont worry if you can’t make it as slamxhype will of course be there to cover it for you.