Rob Pruitt “Multiple Personalities”

Gavin Brown's Enterprise

poster for Rob Pruitt “Multiple Personalities”

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This Fall Gavin Brown’s enterprise presents MULTIPLE PERSONALITIES, an exhibition of new paintings and sculptures by Rob Pruitt. For this upcoming exhibition, Pruitt leaves behind his trademark mixture of pop extravagance and pointed social critique, turning inward to further explore the multiple personalities which have influenced his markedly different bodies of work.

In the latest from his ongoing series of ‘Suicide Paintings’, the stark combinations of hand-painted gradients employ a color palette suggestive of sea and sky, each intimating a threshold into a potentially infinite expanse. These spectral fields simultaneously recall Rothko’s emotionally resonant abstractions, the celestial fields of a Mac’s startup screen, and the window out of which Yves Klein leapt into the void. Regardless of any connotations given by the title of the series, what lies beyond the surface of each painting remains ambiguous.

Pruitt will also introduce a new body of paintings based on a series of automatic drawings made during his ongoing therapy sessions. Enlarged and superimposed over heavily impastoed surfaces, the paintings unveil the inner-workings of the artist’s mind by reproducing gestures which originate from the sanctity of the therapist’s couch. Alongside this work is a parallel project rendered by a chorus of his studio assistants who have covered upholstered sofas and plywood table tops with unrestricted and unedited drawings made during lunch breaks, resulting in surfaces that gush like rivers of multiple streams of consciousness.

Rounding out the exhibition are sculptures made from arrangements of sandbags, recalling the psychologically accreted landscapes of Surrealist Salvador Dali. Standing among them, a grove of trees bears a variety of fruits, seducing the viewer with multiple temptations from Pruitt’s Garden of Eden. Aiming to replicate the chaos and the calm within each of us, Pruitt’s new work is about contemplating options rather than objects, and considering passageways to new places rather than choosing to remain still. These pieces urge us to see beyond our self-imposed walls and, in the words of late poet Maggie Estep, “to think of this as a window”.*



from September 13, 2014 to October 25, 2014

Opening Reception on 2014-09-13 from 18:00 to 20:00


Rob Pruitt

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