November 6 - December 18, 2004
Rock defines modern America. It is a form of music, an attitude, a way of dealing with the day-to-day. Rock on! That rocks! You rock!
What does all this mean? Especially today? For all its specificity to our culture, ?rock? is a concept that is surprisingly hard to pin down. It is a floating presence in American life, and as the ten artists in Rock reveal, while "rocking out" gets to the essence of American rebellion, trying to "rock" often goes directly to our urge to conform. "Rebellion in conformity," as Baudrillard would put it.
The artists of Rock deal with rock as a concept, an attitude both directly and obliquely, in a variety of media, including painting, drawing, sculpture and video. Roger Anderson's watercolors delicately depict an imagined youth culture landscape. Tim Bavington?s airbrushed abstract paintings draw on hits by such groups as the Darkness, the Stone Roses and Oasis. Katherine Bernhardt paints figures like Paris Hilton and other images culled from music and fashion magazines. Steve Brown's works on paper present a hand-drawn constellation of rock imagery, hippiedom and Satanism. Maureen Cavanaugh's paintings explore the tropes of girlish fantasy. Krysten Cunningham's sculptures probe a maze of youth culture imagery, including sleeping bags, tents and the god's-eyes spun by teenagers at summer camp. Matt Johnson presents an actual rock, cut to resemble a mass-produced cultural product?a slice of Swiss cheese. Kaz Oshiro blends frat house decor with definitive Minimalist statement in sculptures of cheap laminate IKEA cupboards. Fraser Stables' video investigates a true rocker and his life experience. Brad Tucker presents black-on-black paintings of courtroom sayings, a play on Ad Reinhardt by way of the wrong side of the law.