The Moon Ate Me September 23 – November 14, 2009 Peter Blum Chelsea, NYC
The Moon Ate Me brings together a group of new large-scale paintings as well as four sculptures. These recent works take the mechanics of sonar as a model not only for the artistic process but also as a metaphor for how one defines oneself in relation to one’s surroundings. In Keyser’s paintings the different components of the works often seem to bounce off one another and influence each other’s position. Indeed, these tensions structure the work as Keyser is inclined to allow rogue elements determine her composition.
Rosy Keyser continues to push her investigation into the expansion of the physical limits of painting. This happens on both a material and structural level. In Valentine for a Prizefighter, Keyser applies sanded down beer cans on a loosely stretched canvas she previously treated with house and spray paint. Rush and Weltercombines such unlikely materials as enamel, sawdust, and dye and the canvas shows the traces of repeated re-stretching. The stretcher is not a hidden supporting structure but an active component in The Ray and Heaven and Other Poems. In these two works, partly colored fringe—sometimes only held in place by a thick layer of sawdust—is draped on the clearly visible wooden stretcher and flows in various directions. The visceral compositions turn painting inside out.
For the first time, Keyser includes sculptures. Eastfacing, Downwind takes the shape of a windsock made of iron—an almost horizontal metal chain affixed to a pole. On the base of the sculpture, Keyser has emblazoned the word Shangri-La, the direction in which the windsock points. It is here, in the newest iteration of her formal concerns, that we see a constellation of the most salient issues driving her practice: a continual quest, despite its impossibility, to find one’s bearings.