Rosson Crow

Night at the Palomino

January 26, 2008 —
March 29, 2008

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PRESS RELEASE

Honor Fraser is pleased to present Night at the Palomino, an exhibition of new paintings by Rosson Crow.

Rosson Crow is celebrated for her exuberant large-scale depictions of nostalgia-laden interiors that blend historical allusion and theatrical illusion. The paintings evoke the good times of yesteryear, with lush interiors that are always deserted, yet speak eloquently—if obliquely—of recent use and inhabitation. The sense of loss is counterbalanced by the richness of textures, patterns, and references—and especially by vibrant, clashing colors, which display an irreverence to the subject-matter akin to the '80s soundtrack and Converse All-Stars of Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette. The work also stands out for its hallucinogenic spaces, with interiors fracturing and distorting from realistic representation into abstraction and surrealism, and "teetering," as she puts it, "between claustrophobic and agoraphobic."

While Crow's earlier work was often seeped in the decadent atmospheres of the faded aristocracy and absinthe bars of early modern Paris, taking from European styles such as Rococo, the recent work on show here takes as its basis the compressed, but equally rich history of the United States, and especially Los Angeles. The city's heritage chimes with her interest in the American West, as well as in spectacle and illusion. Country music features in the show's title piece, and film sets and the Wild West come together in The Widow Garret's View of Deadwood. Crow also takes on the masculine spectacles and environments of rodeos, saloons, trophy rooms, boxing and the late Jason Rhoades' Black Pussy soirées. Characteristically, she reimagines the interiors of the now demolished Ambassador Hotel, and flamboyantly embroiders on the truth in such pieces as Koenig House, adding a chandelier and bursts of pink and turquoise to the iconic modernist masterpiece.

Rosson Crow grew up in Texas, and studied at Yale and the School of Visual Arts in New York before serving a one-year residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. Her work has been widely published, and exhibited in solo shows in New York (CANADA Gallery) and Paris (Galerie Nathalie Obadia) as well as in a number of group shows.

A new publication of Rosson Crow's work, Night at the Palomino, published by Honor Fraser, will be available at the opening. It contains an essay by Norman Klein, who describes the work as "massively architectonic, very immersive, … like a Baroque castle inside a theme park, historical paintings inside a half-baked memory system, inside a desire that has been marketed, but never satisfied."