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Rob Pruitt

Gavin Brown's Enterprise
620 Greenwich Street, 212-627-5258
Greenwich Village
September 16 - October 14, 2006
Reception: Saturday, September 16, 6 - 8 PM

In a radical departure from previous projects, Pruitt eschews representational and found imagery for bold, gestural abstraction. In a reductive palette of pink and red, Pruitt embarks on a journey through a personal mindscape, passing gestures from Abstract Expressionist masters along the way. The paintings present the two colors in a dialogue evoking their various cultural associations: red as violent and dominating, pink as lovely and demure. The materials employed – silver covered foam insulation panels, enamel paint, and glitter—suggest the lightness of party decoration and retail display while also acting as a counterpoint to the heroic scale, personal gesture, and historical weight of Abstract Expressionism.

Leaping between subjects and styles like a pop Picasso, Pruitt has acted as a cultural archeologist unearthing our fascination with cultural trends and the systems of meaning that surround them, from our collective obsession with the worlds of Martha Stewart and Paris Hilton, to our collective guilt over environmental destruction, as symbolized by the Panda bear. Now turning his keen cultural eye to the formalism of Abstract Expressionism, Pruitt has created a dual color backdrop for our historical moment. Evoking allegories of war and a melting landscape caused by global warming, Pruitt combines a sincere attention to aesthetic pleasure with a sly and subtle cultural critique creating a Guernica for today.
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