Shotgun Review

New Work by Brion Nuda Rosch

By December 17, 2009

Kent Baer and Eli Ridgway, owners of Baer Ridgway Exhibitions, worked extensively with Brion Nuda Rosch to build up to his first solo exhibition, titled simply “New Work by Brion Nuda Rosch.” The gallery became Rosch’s personal playground, as he creatively utilized architectural features in a fashion similar to artists Kasimir Malevich or El Lizitski. The exhibition contains several collage pieces, a video, assemblage, and installation. Maneuvering around the exhibition, the similarities in temperature and treatment suggest a common place of origin. One of Rosch’s goals was to re-create the experience of the materials for the viewer. In keeping with that, some of the materials exist humbly with little manipulation and with raw edges exposed. His color and material choices bring to mind the work of other contemporary artists such as Tobias Buche, Thomas Demand, Wade Guyton, and Mathew Monahan.

I interviewed Rosch on Saturday, Dec. 5. He spoke about the humble quality of his work, the importance of editing, and the validity of simplicity.

Bessie Kunath: Are all of the pieces in your show at Baer Ridgway conceptually connected? How do the pieces relate to each other?

Brion Nuda Rosch: They definitely exist on their own and there are categories they could be put into. You have found book pages on found book pages, found house paint on found book pages, house paint on objects, objects assembled, relationships between painting and sculpture, having a piece hung horizontally facing the ground with an armature supporting that. There is a film that relates to the process of painting very simply by applying traditional house paint to drywall, very traditionally. So a lot of it is about process. And overall, I think that the pieces are having a conversation with each other.…

BK: You don’t seem to favor one medium over another. Is that something you think about a lot when you are making?

BNR: Well, I work with materials and I work with objects. Even a flat material I would look at as an object. It’s something that exists in the world already and how do I relate to that object? I don’t consciously set an agenda to have this many flat works in a show, this or that.

99 Somewhat Culturally Significant Artifacts Purchased at the 99 Cent Store, 2008-09; house paint on purchased objects; dimensions variable. Courtesy of the Artist and Baer Ridgway Exhibitions.

Untitled (River Canyon, Country Countryscape), 2009; found book page on found book page; 10.5 x 8 in. Courtesy of the Artist and Baer Ridgway Exhibitions, San Francisco.

I don’t give myself those parameters. I do enjoy building off ideas from one form to another. I’d like to continue a relationship to painting, to the act of painting, the documentation of that, and bring a three-dimensional sculptural element. I’m looking forward to projects that involve film. It invites the viewer into how something is achieved.

BK: What’s your favorite piece in the show or what do you feel the most satisfied with?

BNR: As far as for the simplicity, the New Ridge collage. It’s what I consider a ready-made collage. It’s just one book page cut and placed on top of another, and it’s titled New Ridge because I had cut out a photograph of a range of mountains and had another page taken from a different book from a different time and a different locale. When I placed the cut image onto the base image, I was able to line it up so that the beginning of the ridge on either side intersected to create a new ridge.

BK: Was there a point in your career when you felt less sure about your position with that idea? Did you feel pulled into a direction to make your work more refined?

BNR: Well, it’s refined in a very simplistic way, without over making. In the last few years, I have been able to become more confident in the simplicity of being able to stop at a certain point. Whereas, I think the first few years of my art making, I was using a lot of resin; I was using a lot of different things in an attempt, just based on a naïve notion of what work was being valued or what I saw around me. I definitely made an attempt at one point to have everything feel really, really finished. And then I continued to let that go. Now, I am confident in the ideas and the materials in being as simple and honest as they are.

Rosch’s multidisciplinary approach to his current show at Baer Ridgway Exhibitions serves as one artist’s temporal collection of engaging experiences, situations, aesthetics, and textures. This intuitively produced body of work is a good point of departure for any artist, and places a contemporary time-stamp on the San Francisco art scene.

“New Work by Brion Nuda Rosch” is on view at Baer Ridgway Exhibitions in San Francisco through January 2, 2010.

Bessie Kunath is an artist who lives and works in San Francisco, CA. She currently spends most of her time at her place of employment, Creativity Explored, an art center for developmentally disabled adults located in the Mission District. 

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