“When am I done?” is one of the perennial questions working artists ask themselves. To Be Continued, an exhibition organized by artist and curator Eve Rusk, invites artists to exhibit before they have reached a definitive answer to that question. We are delighted to feature the work of Andrew Cornell Robinson in our inaugural exhibition on view at Rusk, 39 West 37th Street, 15th Floor, by appointment.
Contact, Eve Rusk at firstname.lastname@example.org
To Be Continued: Andrew Cornell Robinson, A Congregation of Wits, an installation of limited edition prints.
ABOUT THE PROJECT: A CONGREGATION OF WITS During a visit to Pasquino, one of the “talking statues” in Rome, Italy, Robinson was moved by the leaflets, poems, prayers, manifestos, affirmations and protestations plastered over this sculpture and pediment. Mementos like these have been left by Romans since the sixteenth century when it was one of the only ways that the dis-empowered citizenry voiced their complaints against a corrupt city state. Each message signaling the voice among a choir of discontent or deepest wish. Much like the bleating crowds on social media, these physical traces of unheard and unheeded citizens create a compelling visual palimpsest of civic gathering. In the soon to be premiered artist’s limited-edition print, A Congregation of Wits Robinson recalls focusing on the hand-written messages, taped and tacked together, thinking, “What does it look like when a society gives voice to the voiceless?”. He began assigning drawn images and transcribing quotes, poems, prayers and affirmations; assigning a fragment of text to each drawing, imagining a community and the unique voices in congregation. This idea manifested in a series of one thousand drawings, and one thousand statements which were then silkscreen printed onto a series of forty double sided prints and related artifacts. Each print is comprised of twenty-five drawings juxtaposed into a modular grid within a square. A series of abstract forms based on Robinson’s gesture drawings of Jamón ibérico is over printed in red, blue, green and yellow. This Spanish ham leg form appealed to Robinson after having traveled extensively in the Iberian Peninsula where he encountered a common gesture of hospitality; the offering of a plate of charcuterie. One of the artist’s favorite authors Christopher Hitchens, speculates that this tradition of presenting guests with cured pig derives from the inquisition where such an offering was a means of sniffing out disingenuous religious converts. These prints with layered meanings, and cryptic drawings of people, places, events and things are paired with uncanny phrases composed in bold sans serif and serif letter forms. The series presents a humorous visual and verbal trace of the voices within a community. They reveal conflicts through caricatured reflections of humanity. As the series progressed, Robinson envisioned these mementos in multiple forms including an animated film, related works on paper and an series of ceramic artifacts. The style of Robinson’s renderings ranges from technical line drawings, digital imaging and gestural marks in ink and wax crayon transformed through silkscreen print. Composed in a loose and exuberant manner, these images and lines are a reflection and response to the faceless din of civic chatter where everyone talks and no one listens. Robinson curiously reminds us that we can approach the choir of incoherent voices with a sense of humor. MORE