Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Rosanna Bruno: Studio Visit.


I visited abstract painter Rosanna Bruno's studio in Long Island City a couple weeks ago. Not only did I find a CD collection that I wanted to pilfer, but I also found paintings that were as immediate as they were mystifying. Bruno's paintings are among some of the finest abstracts I've seen lately, along with the recent wonders of Amy Sillman and Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe.


Bruno's lines seem to trace the path of some unstoppable rhythm, every painting a new and complex song. Although de Kooning is an obvious influence, the painter I found myself thinking about most was Bonnard. Like the French master Bruno brings colors together that really shouldn't work and makes them sing their own strange, deep harmonies.


The initial incongruity of color is what tugs the viewer into Bruno's flow. Once in, the artist's command of both line and color constantly surprises and refuses to let go. The large paintings are especially physical in the way they interact with the body of the viewer. It was difficult to walk away from these paintings. They kept pulling me in, and I kept wanting more. It's a perfect, devastating balance.


A show of Bruno's smaller, more intimate paintings will be cutting an infectious groove at the John Davis Gallery in Hudson, NY from May 25th through June 18th.

18 comments:

fairy butler said...

Beautifully put HAA. I too recently had the pleasure of visiting Rosanna's studio and found that her paintings really surprised me as they unfolded, if that makes sense. They keep giving and giving with time. Each painting is a really different visual experience - some recalling open vistas and weather, in some I found a thicket of emotions. I kept returning to a sense of place as the grounding point when viewing her abstractions.

I love their clarity and assuredness. I think your comparison to Bonnard is great - there is a great conversation going on with color. That beauty + atonality schism mix with beautiful lite. It is very impressive how Rosanna gets tons of mileage out of her realtively 'limited' vocabulary.

fairy butler said...

please excuse the typos/bad grammar.

Mountain Man said...

I have been a fan of Rosanna's paintings for a long time. I love her ribbonlike swooping gestures. Focused, expansive, graceful and clear - these are really strong and seemingly effortless paintings. I agree with FB that it's amazing how the references can veer to something literal like tree branches in a landscape to something more lyrical, moody. They evade easy description. I haven't seen her work in a while and wow HAA and FB I love what you both have written. Congratulations on your show Rosanna.

Rosanna said...

I must say a big heartfelt thanks to all of you for your kind and intelligent words. I feel each of you have touched on the things that excite me about painting.

w.w. said...

i love that the magic happens in subtle shifts... but somehow she maintains a crazy, physical tension. i also really like the texture. hardly anyone is working this way. it's exciting.

congrats rosanna!

Heart As Arena said...

FB - You nailed it. Although there's a certain style that RB is using, each painting really is "a different visual experience." That was one of amazing things about. The reaction of my eye, art, and body changed with every painting. Rich.

MM - Strong and effortless is right. For as much as they reveal, there's not a forced moment to be found. Crazy good.

r - You're welcome. These are exciting paintings. Congrats on the show.

w.w. - The tension is delicious. I really liked what you said about how so few are working this way. It was refreshing to be in front of them.

jn said...

I recently visited Rosanna's paintings and they were so beautiful. I'm not an artist, as I am assuming the rest of you are, so I cannot articulate my visual experience as well. But I do know that they are slow, like Fairy Butler said and also very direct. A combination that keeps me looking.

John Tallman said...

Not bad for a Richard Cramer Landscape Class student!! :)!!!

sloth said...

Thank you for this great post, HAA. I agree with everything that's been said - all wonderfully well-put. Rosannas' paintings are so evocative; she really has terrific mastery over her painterly language. her work is succinct and experiential. She's the genuine article -- a rare thing.

Mark said...

Great post Brent. Next trip i want to tag along.

Regi said...

There is this persoN
on the interneT
that I talk to
strange but kinda cool like that.

She is shy though
doesnt share alot about herself
bummer

But one daY
I found out more about her
and she kicks ASS

I wanta wear pajamas inspired by her
and I wanta sleep on bed sheets that
KICK ASS like these paintings
and maybe the walls of my dorm room
should be painted in freaky colors too like these paintings.

and I'm gonna tell everyone that she kicks ASS and that I know her and that we talk on the internet and she kicks ass on the internet too and all her friends are cool and they kick ASS although they are cruel to kitties and girls who want to go to art grad school.

You know these paintings are fun to look at and I bet this painter is a fun and funny person with a kick ass CD collection, bonus! - I LIKEY

p.s. Rosanna loves romantic dinners at white castle...fart...snuggle

The Capt'n said...

Hi HAA,
I want to thank you for your great post and great words. Fairy Butler, W.W., Sloth and Mountain Man's have also said excellent things. I'm terrible at talking about art, but I love reading what you guys have been saying about these tremendous paintings.

James Wolanin said...

I love these paintings. Nice form, composition, color, it's all there. They have a nice energy, it flows.

JD said...

Yes, these paitings are filled with light and translucence. I love the scale of the marks. And they have a nice balance of emotion and self-awareness (not necessarily irony). Congrats on the show, Rosanna!

zs said...

You know what I love? The Capt'n posting a comment here. I love the Capt'n and I love Brent so this is super great for me.

Heart As Arena said...

And you know what makes me happy, ZS? All these great comments adding to what I said. There's plenty of room to move around in these paintings and the variety of angles in the responses speaks to that. Y'all rock my house. Big smiles.

rita said...

I am a big fan of this work.

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