Maccarone is proud to present “The Hell Bitch,” an exhibition of new work by New York-based artist Rosy Keyser and her first solo show with the gallery. Occupying the space between a crude vernacular and precise syncopation, Keyser’s paintings provoke the viewer to consider what constitutes beauty, empathy, profanity, and the baseness of form.
While several new paintings are on view here, there is a large unnamed canvas that is absent from the exhibition and resides in Keyser’s studio. It embodies the concerns central to her current practice and can be understood as a mother, tribal contract, or living palette. It has, over the last few years, functioned as a repository for a broad spectrum of elements and a place for the artist to flesh out gestures. It is the hell bitch. The materials present on its surface – sawdust, mortar, fur, sand, cork, and string – diffuse structural and illusionistic lines in an effort to recast how paint is portrayed. This constantly evolving source serves as a reminder that objects and forms don’t endure with fixed meanings and identities. From this canvas, the paintings on view were born.
Keyser’s wellspring of materials is used in conjunction with paint, as paint, and incorporated into the work like a stroke or splatter of the brush. So too the partial exposure of the frame plays a painterly role, whereby the empty space free from canvas contributes to the overall composition. The naked frame is not meant to suggest the trope of deconstruction, but its antithesis. Informed by Polynesian stick charts, the basic mnemonic navigational maps of the pre-technology world, the work points out that orientations and perceptions are febrile in nature and often at the mercy of a volatile source.