Matthew Rosenquist: Just Keep Walking
Matthew Rosenquist knows his way around the block. I mean that in every sense. He’s acutely attuned to a certain street culture and attitude in common circulation both in L.A. and elsewhere – a suburbanized (and slightly desperate) vernacular observed not only in L.A., but disseminated throughout other metropolitan centers across America. He also knows his way around a wooden block – or pier, or cube, or what have you – like no artist I’ve ever seen before, including, say, Stephen Balkenhol. You might say he knows his way into a block of wood the way Michelangelo knew his way into a block of marble. (I’d love to watch him ‘rip one to shreds.’) But above all, what the work conveys is a rare insight into the self-conscious construction and projection of identity and attitude – and also the notion of ‘position’ (as distinct from pose or posturing), with respect to place and peers, as well as the larger culture. You see it in his priceless ‘suburban punk girls,’ his selfie-snapping yoga-chicks and suburban matrons, his determined, but slightly oblivious, girls and ‘righteous dudes’ on-the-go, but clinging to the words they’re barking into their cell phones. Rosenquist’s artistic scope far exceeds this level of character study; but this show might be a useful place to become acquainted with his work. Did I say ‘priceless’? I believe all the works are for sale; but you’d better hurry over: these are the kinds of selfie-snappers that sell themselves, if you catch my drift.
1024 N. Western Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90029
Show runs thru December 24, 2016