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.
Rosy Keyser was born in 1974 in Baltimore, MD and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Keyser received her BFA from Cornell University and her MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The past summer Keyser’s work was shown in the exhibition Stubborn Materials at Peter Blum Chelsea. Other exhibitions include group shows at the Track House, Chicago; Jessica Murray Projects, New York; The Pond, Chicago; Reenactment of Dürer’s ‘A Large Piece of Turf’ in Marble, CO; Baltimore, MD; Medusa, NY; and Læso, Denmark.