November 19 December 6, 2015
New York, NY: Figure/Ground, a two-person exhibition of the work of John Baber and Maddy
Rosenberg, opens in OffLINE at CENTRAL BOOKING on Thursday, November 19, 6-8pm. The
work of the two artists naturally play off of each other, as both artists build large worlds with small work.
John Baberʼs recent paintings and collages reflect contemporary events, life and relationships. The
exploration of painterly space and perspective is demonstrated in his portraits as he integrates real and
imagined interiors. Images from the media including newspaper, vintage magazines, television and
movies are brought into the picture plane. Nods to surrealism, pop, and DADA are apparent in his work;
techniques of the old masters are in evidence in his painting process and tiny brushes and glazing are
employed to achieve detail and heightened atmospheres. There is a sense of mystery in each painting,
as the content attempts to capture the unexplainable-life after death, the origins of the universe, the
loss of a friend gone too soon. Not all have such lofty aspirations: some aim to portray the buffoonery of
our political system as it plays out in the media, others are sincere efforts to capture those in his life,
and a few offer glimpses of those unforgettable moments in time. There is a sense of the absurd in
content as he combines humor and reality in his subject matter. Baberʼs new work encourages the
viewer to consider life seriously, at first, but then to take a deep breath and maybe have a good laugh.
Maddy Rosenberg was born and lives in New York City, though she gathers imagery from the months
each year she spends in Europe, as well as from other travels and source materials. She finds a
particular attraction to the crumbling facades of gothic architecture, bearing the weight of time, and its
gargoyle or grotesque details. However, newer 19th century New York buildings are aged enough to tell
their own stories and mingle among their more ancient counterparts in her amalgam compositions. Her
work has been greatly influenced by these urban environments and the memories encapsulated in the
palimpsests of the layers of structures through centuries. Objects, images, and architectural details are
reconfigured in seamlessly assembled compositions that result in a newly invented context and a fresh
perspective. The juxtaposition of planes of saturated color with finely painted details more clearly
defines the abstract nature of the paintings, while simultaneously emphasizing the evocativeness of the
imagery. The images become more than mere depictions of reality, a hint of what once was, with the
shapes of pure color a reminder of the identity of the painted surface. Rosenberg has worked with the
ideas of multi-panel paintings for a number of years and the implied sequential narrative intrinsic to the
form. With them, she creates close-ups of imagined spaces as if looking through a peephole, worlds
that offers a reality - with a twist.
CENTRAL BOOKING is a unique international art space, founded and run by artist/curator Maddy Rosenberg,
dedicated to the expanse of the book as art in dialog with the convergence of art & science.
CENTRAL BOOKING consists of:
Artistʼs Book Gallery featuring the work of over 120 established and emerging artists worldwide.
Haber Space, specializing in Art and Science thematic exhibitions.
OffLINE Event & Library/WorkSpace, the Place for Multi-disciplinary Interaction with a full program of
interdisciplinary events and collaborations.
Thursday, 19 November, 2015
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