The Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson (MOCA Tucson) is pleased to present five solo exhibitions: Rosson Crow: WESTIFICATION; Rose Eken: In Residence; Victoria Fu: Out of the Pale; Robert Melee’s Town and Country; and Bryan Zanisnik: Carl Jung’s Assault Rifles THE GAME. The opening reception for these exhibitions and a MOCA member’s preview will be held from 7-8pm on Saturday, January 13, 2018 with a public opening reception from 8-9pm with cash bar and Tucson Fat Noodle food truck. All exhibitions will run through March 25, 2018.
Please also join MOCA on Sunday, January 14 at 11am for an artist talk with Robert Melee. Robert will discuss the development of his current body of work for Robert Melee’s Town and Country in relationship to MOCA Tucson’s architecture and his 14-week artist residency at the museum.
ABOUT THE EXHIBITIONS
Rosson Crow will exhibit a new series of work in MOCA’s Great Hall that utilizes the medium of contemporary landscapes—specifically largescale paintings of the American West—to examine America’s political landscape. At the core of these paintings are themes of westward expansion and manifest destiny, as well as American influence, for better or worse, on global culture. Scattered amongst the brilliantly colored cacti are beer cans, flags, and detritus tagged with ugly symbols and relics of our perceived national exceptionalism. Inspired by road trips through the desert and her extensive archive of photographs, vintage postcards, and political ephemera, Crow creates giant, post-apocalyptic paintings using photo transfer and traditional painting techniques—a process that mirrors her landscapes in which the natural collides with the man-made, where the lines between the real and artificial are blurred.
Rosson Crow was born in 1982 in Dallas, Texas and lives in Los Angeles. She received a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2004 and an MFA from Yale University in 2006. Solo exhibitions of her work have been presented at Musée Régional d'Art Contemporain, Sérignan, France (2014); Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH (2010); and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX (2009). Her work has been included in group exhibitions at The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA; Royal Academy of Arts; London, UK; Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg, France; and Macro Future Museum, Rome, Italy. She is currently represented by Honor Fraser Gallery.
— Rose Eken
While working at punk music venues as a teenager in Cophenhagen, Rose Eken developed a fascination with detritus. Sculpting objects found in concert halls, kitchens, studios, and similarly ubiquitous locations, her arrangements and sheer amount of production assume an anthropological quality, documenting and preserving the relics of a culture and celebrating a history in the process. Rose Eken’s exhibition, In Residence will feature a series of contemporary ceramic works that provide a snapshot into different facets of the artist’s life through three thematic installations: “The Kitchen;” “The Studio;” and “The Bandroom.” In all three project spaces visitors will feel that some sort of cultural production is taking place as they glimpse into the mind of the artist, as if she were on site creating work directly in the galleries when the museum is closed. “The Kitchen” will have several of Eken’s still-life pieces on display—large clusters of fruits and flowers, kitchen utensils, etc. In “The Studio” visitors can glimpse the exhibition they are viewing in the making—an artist studio/gallery space that includes tools, a stepladder, and paintings leaned up against the wall as if not yet hung. “The Bandroom” will include a collection of music equipment, bottles, and other ephemera one might find in a musician’s practice space.
Rose Eken was born in 1976 in Copenhagen, Denmark and attended the Edinburgh College of Art and Royal College of Art London. Solo exhibitions of her work have been presented at Horsens Artmuseum (2018); Bornholms Keramik Museum (2016); The Hole Gallery, NYC (2014); and Munch Gallery, NYC (2013). Her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions and her recent solo exhibition “Tableau” at V1 Gallery in Copenhagen was acquired by and is currently on display at Aros Museum of Modern Art in Aarhus, Denmark. She is currently represented by V1 Gallery.
This exhibition is funded, in part, by the Danish Arts Foundation, The American-Scandinavian Foundation, and the Helen Lee and Emil Lassen Fund.
— Victoria Fu
Out of the Pale
California-based artist Victoria Fu presents Out of the Pale, an exhibition of moving images that explores the folding of real and virtual spaces. Combining clips sourced from the internet and original film and video footage, these immersive installations examine the relationship between spectator, screen, architecture and image. These different configurations of moving image projection probe at the «physical» nature of images: What does the backside of an image look like? Does an image cast a shadow? Drawing from a painterly approach, Fu's works display optical effects of light from a 16-mm filmmaking process as well as alterations in post-production. Layering analog and digital textures, codes, gestures, and even playful jabs at the artist’s production of the work itself, these works are meditations on how the virtual world inflects our experience of sight, perception and image-making. These works are simultaneously suggestive and provocative, distorting the senses to reorganize and reinterpret how viewers normally perceive and interact with cinematic and digital media works.
Victoria Fu was born in 1978 in Santa Monica, CA and lives in Southern California. She received a BA from Stanford University, an MA in Art History/Museum Studies from the University of Southern California, and an MFA from the California Institute of Arts. Victoria was a resident at Skowhegan in 2006, and a participant of the Whitney Independent Study Program in 2005-06. She is a recent Guggenheim Fellow and Harpo Foundation Grantee. Solo presentations of her work have been presented at Katonah Museum of Art (2016); Center for Ongoing Research & Projects, Columbus OH (2015); The Contemporary, Baltimore MD (2015); and the University of California, Irvine CA (2014). Her work has been screened at the 52nd and 53rd New York Film Festivals, the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles (2016) and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2015); and included in numerous group exhibitions including at Pérez Art Museum, Miami (2017); 2014 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of Art, New York NY (2014); IX Nicaragua Biennial (2014) and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla CA (2013). Her recent 2017 solo exhibition Télévoix was reviewed in Frieze and ArtForum. She is currently represented by Simon Preston Gallery in New York and Honor Fraser Gallery in Los Angeles.
— Robert Melee’s Town and Country
Susan Sontag explains in her seminal essay “Notes on Camp” that the “essence of ‘camp’ is its love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration”. Thus is born Robert Melee’s Town and Country, an installation created during a three-month residency at MOCA Tucson which straddles the line between highbrow and lowbrow. Creating sensuous installations from everyday materials, Melee’s obsession with the accumulation of cast-off and familiar items is seen in the relationship between the indoor and outdoor spaces of the exhibition—embracing colloquial opposites that allow for two bodies of work to develop in both dialogue and contrast. In “Town,” Melee creates a massive installation of cardboard boxes, painted in hi-gloss enamel and stacked in various compositions suggestive of cityscapes. Ranging from 4’ to 14’ feet high, these moving boxes—normally relegated to a life of back and forth—further the conversation between painting and sculpture. The installation forms a psychological playground in which one can experience a new analysis of the everyday, one in which the viewer is surrounded by that which is both uncannily familiar and disarmingly strange. In “Country,” Melee returns to a series produced in 2007 of monumental bronze sculptures. The abstracted figures, imposing in scale and durable in material, are vivid, nude reimaginings of the classic scarecrow. Exhibited alongside are new, nocturnal skyscapes, pulsating compositions achieved by painting thousands of enamel dots on 4’ x 5’ sheets of black painted aluminum, as well as two new works from Melee’s Bottlecap series, produced by nailing caps from beer bottles into plywood, coated in plaster, and embellished with 23 karat gold, aluminum leaf, and enamel. These formal and sociological works evoke both the history of craft and painting in materiality and execution.
Robert Melee was born in 1966 and lives and works in New York City. He received a BFA from the School of Visual Arts and has had recent solo exhibitions at Columbus College of Art & Design, Columbus OH (2016); Andrew Kreps Gallery, NYC (2016); David Castillo Gallery, Miami FL (2015); and David Kordansky, Los Angeles CA (2010). His work has been included in numerous group exhibitions including at Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI; The Corcoran Museum, Washington D.C.; White Cube, London, UK; The Contemporary Art Museum, Houston TX; Portugal Biennial; Haifa Museum of Art Israel; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center; and the New Museum of Contemporary Art. His recent 2016 solo exhibition Semi-Quasi-Bower Recreational was positively reviewed in Art in America, The New York Times, and ArtForum. He is currently represented by Andrew Kreps Gallery and David Castillo Gallery.
— Bryan Zanisnik
Carl Jung’s Assault Rifles THE GAME
Carl Jung’s Assault Rifles THE GAME is a new sculpture by artist Bryan Zanisnik that references life-sized board games. Using hand-painted letters on wood panel, the work juxtaposes Carl Jung’s Collective Unconscious with assault rifle manufacturers. “Libido” flanks “Beretta” and “Psychoid” adjoins “Colt Defense” in small, triangular floor spaces that mimic a game board or map. The abject relationship between Jung’s spiritualism and the violence of assault weapons suggests a complicated relationship between violence and psyche, games and aggression. Inspired by the hand-painted wood signs found throughout the Southwestern desert towns that Zanisnik explored during his artist residency at MOCA Tucson, the work simultaneously responds to the seemingly endless mass shootings occurring in America. Bryan Zanisnik will perform in the installation during the opening reception.
Bryan Zanisnik was born in Union, New Jersey and currently lives between Stockholm, Sweden and New York City. He received an MFA from Hunter College and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He has recently exhibited and performed in New York at MoMA PS1, Sculpture Center, and the Brooklyn Museum; in Philadelphia at the Institute of Contemporary Art and the Fabric Workshop and Museum; in Miami at the De La Cruz Collection; and in Los Angeles at LAXART. Zanisnik is included in Art21’s award-winning documentary series New York Close Up, has been a featured guest on the Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC and is a contributing writer at Triple Canopy.
This exhibition is funded, in part, by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts.
Image: Victoria Fu, Télévoix (still), 2017