Jul 022024

The brightly colored mixed media paintings Rosson Crow has painted for her exhibition, Babel, at Miles McEnery Gallery are perfect for the chaotic times we are currently living in.

From the gallery-

Crow’s works, rendered in oil, acrylic, and photo transfer, are hyper saturated in both palette and her own lexicon of distinctly American iconography. Often drawing direct inspiration from gathered experiences and ephemera from cross country roadtrips, her subjects range from exploding party stores and spilling over fruit stands to populist political crusades and overrun monster truck rallies.

The exhibition centers on three arc-shaped canvases depicting the construction, peak, and destruction of the biblical Tower of Babel. Pulled into the contemporary landscape, Crow’s inspiration stems from Jonathan Haidt’s 2022 essay in The Atlantic, “Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid.” Using the story of Babel as an allegory for the recent fragmentation of collective discourse, the paintings bring the viewer through this dissolution. Going from utopian idealism to the point of breaking and its aftermath, Crow confronts us all to address the parallels between her canvases and our fragmented reality of contention and polarization.

Julia Halperin writes, “Crow has always been a student of history—political history, pop-cultural history, art-and-design history. Critics have described many of her large-scale, epic compositions as contemporary history paintings. But she does not depict history as it unfolded or even as we wish it had unfolded. Instead, she shows history as we might actually receive it today: distorted, manipulated, heightened, blurred, and out of context.”

This exhibition closes 7/3/24.