17 July - 28 August, 2021
Venue : Takuro Someya Contemporary Art
Takuro Someya Contemporary Art is pleased to announce Rafaël Rozendaal’s upcoming solo exhibition Calm, opening on Saturday, July 17th.
Over the past ten years since his first solo show at TSCA, I’m Good (2010), Rozendaal has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions at the gallery. Calm will be his first solo exhibition in Japan in three years, following GENEROSITY at Towada Art Center (Aomori Prefecture) in 2018.
Rozendaal uses websites, Google Chrome plug-ins, and most recently, NFTs as his canvas, then materializes these images as paintings in the physical world using techniques such as weaving and lenticular printing. Going through and beyond the genre of internet art, his mode of artmaking is reflective of our times, bringing awareness to our daily movement between virtual space online and the physical world. In this way, though emerging from within the internet art movement, Rozendaal also holds a unique and critical position within painting’s history of reinterpreted mediums.
In Calm, Rozendaal presents two series of works being shown in Japan for the first time: “Mechanical Painting,” which employs the technique of enamel on steel, and “Extra Nervous,” a series of plexiglass mirror compositions.
Throughout his career, Rozendaal has explored new materials and processes with which to make his virtual creations into physical artworks. “Mechanical Painting” is a series of paintings made of enamel on steel based on digital drawings. Rozendaal’s interest in mediums associated with artisanal and traditional craft can be traced to his earlier work, for example, his “Abstract Browsing” series of woven tapestries first shown in 2016. Like jacquard weaving, the technique of enameling on steel used in “Mechanical Painting” is handed down by skilled craftsmen.
The second series of new works, titled “Extra Nervous,” is made of colored plexiglass that has been laser cut by a computer. The mirrored surface of the plexiglass reflects the image of viewers standing in front of the works. This active relationship between artwork and viewer may bring to mind Rozendaal’s “Into Time” series of lenticular printed paintings in which the image changes dynamically with the viewer’s movement. The experience of seeing oneself caught within the various plexiglass compositions is meditative, a quiet pause for reflection. Then there are the motifs, colorful and simplified abstractions that evoke familiar objects such as tables, elevators, and windows. These images of interior spaces may hold new meaning for many of us after a year and a half of heightened anxiety, spent looking out at the world from inside of our homes.
Digital environments play a greater role in our lives now than ever before as we grapple with the need to reduce physical contact in the face of COVID-19. Yet at the same time, the pandemic has been a reminder of the extent to which our physical bodies are mediated in this material world by touch and friction – in other words, by texture. The two series of works presented in this exhibition are, in a way, Rozendaal’s expressions of these contrasting textures of the digital and physical worlds. Though still bound to the laws of physicality as non-digital works, there is a transparency to the plexiglass surface of the “Extra Nervous” works, a lack of resistance against the eye, which makes them feel almost textureless. On the other hand, the “Mechanical Painting” surfaces are uneven, with spots and scratches. These paintings make their materiality felt through such markers of the medium.
The origin of these works lies in the primitive act of drawing, in simply opening a sketchbook and picking up a pen. In the exhibition title Calm, we glimpse Rozendaal’s state of mind as he returns day by day to this physical routine.
In a recent interview with friend and fellow artist Austin Lee for the NFT platform Foundation, Rozendaal asks, “Do you think art should speak for itself?” Lee’s response: “Yes, I think art needs to speak for itself. Any additional information outside of the work can affect the understanding of the work, but it should not be reliant on it. The artwork itself should reveal something about the creator, but also about the viewer.”
Through their conversation, Rozendaal and Lee push us to reflect on the way our ability to see and connect with the art right in front of us is affected by the constant and overwhelming amount of and access to information, a state which defines this contemporary moment. In <em>Calm</em>, looking at the elements of the works themselves – the technique, material, motif, color, composition, and texture – may not only bring us closer to Rozendaal’s ideas but also be an entry point into a dialogue with our own bodies and minds.
A pioneer of the net art scene, Rozendaal (b. 1980) is a Dutch-Brazilian artist who uses the internet as both his studio and his canvas. While he initially gained global prominence from his websites, Rozendaal has creatively utilized the internet—“the universal library”—to transcend these digital works into the physical world, be it his lenticular paintings, tapestries, or web installations.
In 2018, Rozendaal held his first solo museum exhibition GENEROSITY at Towada Art Center in Aomori Prefecture, Japan. Other recent major exhibitions include, among others, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (USA), Centre Pompidou, Paris (FR), Dordrechts Museum (NL), Kunsthal Rotterdam (NL), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (NL), and Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (USA).
His work belongs to the public collection at Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), Museum Voorlinden (Wassenaar, NL), Lisser Art Museum (Lisse, NL), MOTI (Museum of the Image, Breda, NL), Textielmuseum (Tilburg, NL), KRC Collection or Collection Hugo & Carla Brown.
Publications include Home Alone (Three Star Books) and Everything, Always, Everywhere (Valiz).
Rafaël Rozendaal | Calm
Exhibition Period: Saturday, July 17, 2021 – Saturday, August 28, 2021
Summer Holiday: Sunday, August 8 – Monday, August 16
Open: Tue, Wed, Thu, Sat 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m./ Fri 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Closed: Sun, Mon and National Holidays
Takuro Someya Contemporary Art TSCA 3F TERRADA Art Complex 1-33-10 Higashi-Shinagawa Shinagawa-ku Tokyo 140-0002 Japan
TEL 03-6712-9887 ｜FAX 03-4578-0318 ｜E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
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