Alyse Rosner: Large Scale Work

By: Patricia Rosoff

artSPACE • New Haven, CT • artspacenh.org • Through January 26, 2013

Jon Imber
Alyse Rosner, Split (blue), 2012, fluid acrylic and ink on yupo,
60 x 55″. Courtesy of the artist.

Alyse Rosner’s unique color works are hand-drawn and painted in media that include paint, so that one might be tempted to call them paintings—except (and this is a big exception) they are brimming with a printmaker’s doting affection for line. Line is writ large in these mostly massive images hung simply, by magnets. All of these works are engaged in the spirit of line. Each one is a bustling ode to squiggle and edge, demonstrating a wriggling, restless, get-on-with-it urgency; raising a toast to crispness and calligraphic momentum; sounding a clink to delicate slicing and dicing; and a hurrah to bumpy welts and snaky passages.

These are joyous love songs to the matter of paper, too, drawn on an archival “green” material called Yupo (made of polypropylene). It is not paper at all but a material that mimics the creamy translucence of parchment and offers what appears to be a skittery surface for pigment to slide across. Marks skate upon such a stage, skidding across surface in clean trajectories that vary only in their relative momentum.

There is no way to describe these works without accounting for the dynamics of them. Gravity and magnetic attraction play out in shallow layers upon the narrow vertical plane of the picture field. Narrow, blade-like intrusions, striped with white puff-paint that pools in a dollop that marks the start and stop of each margin, reach in from one edge of the paper to the center; crisp dark strands (like fistfuls of electric wire) attach them, like hammock strings, to the other. Linear things pile up from page bottom; yarn-like things hang down. Fat flat rivers of pattern snake up the page; ribbon-like bindings tie the loops together.

These are pictures constructed like stacked architectural drawings, one layer upon the next, each distinguished by the various pigment “delivery systems” employed. Razor-sharp technical pen lines, each laid in like the end grain of a deck of playing cards, define one kind of passage. The wide trails of a square brush, traversing in sinuous echelon, establish another. Like contrapuntal voices in an organic sort of boogie-woogie, Rosner’s work is a grinning nod to a wild and woolly world of traffic.

—Patricia Rosoff



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