Untitled (Bye), 2012
Acrylic on panel
18" x 24"
Untitled (Monument), 2010
Paper Mache, wood, paint, expandable foam, plastic figures
33" x 12" x 10"
we can plant a house, we can
build a tree
April 1 – 29, 2012
Artist Reception: Sunday, April 1, 5 – 7 p.m.
CB1 Gallery is pleased to present the first solo show in Los Angeles in 20 years of NY based artist Rory Devine, we can plant a house, we can build a tree. The title, taken from a Nirvana song, suggests a kind of hopeless optimism, a future where the strange and inconceivable are possible. Devine’s enigmatic work has a palpable sense of dread combined with humor; it deals with mortality, desire, and loss while also addressing the painter’s formal concerns. The exhibition will be on view from April 1–29, 2012, with a reception for the artist on Sunday, April 1st, 5 – 7 p.m.
Rory Devine’s work is as much about the time it takes to make (labor), as the subject of the work (content). It’s important for the artist to not make the same painting twice; rather, he moves around stylistically and employs the style that each painting dictates. The pluralism in Devine’s work is reminiscent of European painters like Gerhard Richter or Sigmar Polke, and the deadpan quality of his work evokes a kind of comedic response as well as a sense of resignation.
Using symbolism and allegory, Devine’s work reflects a fractured vision of the future, one in which death is just around the corner and hope has faded. The show includes paintings, sculpture, and works on paper. Each painting – with oblique titles such as Waiting, The Health and Happiness Show, Lexington Avenue Blues, and Hot Rod Hell Fire – is framed to highlight the two dimensionality of the work. What happens within the painting is contained within its boundaries. The surfaces are flat, the painting style expressionless and the sentiments ambiguous. The sculptures are meant to hit the viewer over the head with their abjectness, unable to house any hopes and aspirations, these ruined structures stand as silent sentinels to unfulfilled dreams and human flaws. The works on paper are attempts to bring some of the qualities of Devine’s earlier abstract paintings into a kind of three-dimensional reality.
Rory Devine is a painter living in New York. His work has been included in numerous group exhibitions. He received his BFA from The School of Visual Arts, NY, NY and founded and ran the influential TRI Gallery in Los Angeles from 1992 to 1995.