May 8, 2013—June 15, 2013 | Reception: May 8th, 5:30 to 7:30
James Harris Gallery is pleased to present our first solo exhibition by Los Angeles based artist Rachelle Rojany. In a new body of work titled Heads, Rojany has departed from her previous conceptual sculpture of geometric form and shifted to unabashed figurative representation. The previous work referenced a relationship to the body and now the artist freely explores the human form directly through plaster sculpture and portrait painting.
Diagonally bisecting the room is an eleven foot long wall constructed out of plywood. On top of this wall the artist has placed plaster heads. Rojany uses realistic detail along with vigorous sketchy modeling of the plaster to create haunting, expressive objects. On some works, ink is used to demarcate eyes and mouths. The hand of the artist is seen through the manipulation of the plaster medium and is in stark contrast to the plywood wall on which they are displayed.
As one walks around the wall, it opens up to a tunnel in which the artist has hung a multitude of portrait paintings. Viewers are invited through the tunnel where color and form play a pivotal role in the accessibility of these paintings. Rojany’s painting gesture is crude yet refined adding tension and beauty to the personality of each portrait. The tight confines of the viewing space acts as a narrow gangplank, making it difficult to maneuver and back away. The dialogue between the paintings and the sculpture, between the slipping plaster and the slippery paint, explores a tension between what is hidden and what is revealed in this crawl through humanity.
Rachelle Rojany is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. She has been an artist in residence at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Zentralburo in Berlin, and the Vermont Studio Center. She has exhibited her work in Los Angeles, New York and Cologne.