Rivers Burn and Run Backward February 28 – April 19, 2008 Peter Blum Chelsea, NYC
Rivers Burn and Run Backward comprises a group of paintings and a selection of works on paper. Keyser energizes what she refers to as “neo brut” paintings with, in her case, a blend of rational and emotional notions. Her work unifies oppositions and negotiates various centers of gravity. The paintings juxtapose humble elements with big gestures, and make references to pop culture, to spiritual narratives, and to art historical concepts such as “visionary painting” and “assemblage." Keyser’s approach stems from a strong conviction that the natural world is instable and impermanent. All the parts of her paintings are constantly in play, guided by a relationship of cause and effect.
The physical act of painting is important in Keyser’s work. Her process-driven abstractions tell the story of their own making and present improbable combinations of materials. For example, Keyser coalesces mica (silicate minerals), a material known for its fragile and reflective qualities, with rough sawdust. She also contrasts dye paint that has been fully absorbed into the canvas with layers of glossy enamel. This play in the tension between pictorial surfaces and applied materials enables Keyser to create simultaneously complex and straightforward layers of expressive abstractions.