Time Out New York / Nov 5–11, 2009

Rosy Keyser

In her second solo exhibition at this gallery, Rosy Keyser persists with her likable, if rather conservative, brand of “neo brut” painting. She also expands into sculpture for the first time, albeit with generally less-satisfying results.

First up is a roomful of small panels layered with spray paint, household enamel, charcoal and dye over bits of found metal and fabric. Of these, the “Fire Sermon” series is the most convincing, with its flickers of lilac and green emerging here and there from beneath strips of charred brown and gray. Insomnia and Natura Morta may be edgier in material terms (wire and broken glass, dangling twine crusted with silver spray), but I prefer the slow burn of the other works.

The canvases and constructions in the main space are much larger, but share a similar approach to the mixing and mismatching of materials. Color is again suppressed in favor of abstract form and grungy texture. Fever Dream is a typical example: To a maplike network of white spray-painted lines crisscrossed by veins of obsidian, Keyser adds dashes of Antoni Tàpies and Christopher Wool for her AbEx revivalist recipe. In Heaven and Other Poems and The Ray, she allows her materials even greater primacy by replacing the solid canvas with fringes of string to achieve a skeletal, acid-eaten look. Of the show’s four sculptures, only the wall-mounted Dub Crucible, a makeshift basketball “hoop” built from a plastic milk crate, a square of skateboard grip tape and a steel plate, has a comparable resonance.

Image: Rosy Keyser, Joy Division, 2009