Past: April 6 → May 7, 2011
The title of Rob Pruitt’s third solo show at Air de Paris is his name — just that and no more. Just as the celebrated, much sought‐after, contemporary art trophy, the Rob Pruitt Art Award, also takes the artist’s name.
For this new exhibition Pruitt is presenting two new projects. His new series of paintings translates this season’s Ikea wall art into lush oil paintings. Ikea takes the look of valuable art and makes it affordable; Pruitt brings this full circle by taking the mass produced Ikea items and making them unique. Taking a cue from Jasper Johns who in the 1950’s used the found compositions of targets, American flags, and political maps of the United States as a location for luxurious paint application, Pruitt uses the "original" Ikea compositions as a starting point. The style of paint application varies from heavy impasto in the expressionistic style to a more refined photorealistic technique to something similar to the more humble skills of a pastry chef decorating a cake.
Among the oil paintings are anthropomorphic cardboard robots. The sculptures appear as if they had wandered into the exhibition, and stand before the paintings both be mused and contemplative. Their eyes are made of retrofitted shop‐bought clocks with rotating pupils that scan the room. They clearly share DNA with historic works: Rauschenberg’s Cardboard series in 1971‐1972, the crushed car works of John Chamberlain, and Jim Henson’s Muppets. These surrogates for the gallery goer are made from recycling‐ready, logo‐bright cardboard boxes gleaned from the streets of New York and are a compressed litany of everything we consume as a society. You could easily call them grotesques.
So yeah, no title, just Rob Pruitt.
Opening Wednesday, April 6, 2011 6 PM → 7 PM