Cellblock I, Cellblock II, Andrea Rosen Gallery
Andrea Rosen Gallery has announced Cellblock I and Cellblock II, two group exhibitions – both curated by Robert Hobbs –that are intertwined yet distinctly separate in their intention. The exhibitions open November 3, 2012 at the Gallery's main space at 525 West 24th Street, as well as inaugurating its new, second location, at 544 West 24th Street.
Cellblock I, at the Gallery's primary and expanded space (525 West 24th Street), brings together a compelling group of four important artists – Peter Halley, Robert Motherwell, Sterling Ruby and Kelley Walker – by presenting a selection of significant paintings. The complex ideas behind the show and Hobbs' very deliberate choice of work suggest further layers of reading while remaining open to the viewers' own abstracted relationships with the works and their unique experiences. As is characteristic of shows at the Gallery, Cellblock I affords the opportunity to look at these familiar artists in a new way and with more depth, both in relation to each other and in regards to their individual practices.
While these are four artists Hobbs has championed individually, it's compelling how this show and subject bring together his scholarship in a culminating and unexpected way with artists whom he has known, studied, and written about over the length of his career, forming a meeting point of sorts.
The Gallery is especially thrilled to feature Cellblock II: An Essay in Exhibition Form as the first show at its second space, which will newly house its Gallery 2 program, known for content-driven, experimental and historical one time exhibitions. Andrea Rosen conceivEd Gallery 2 in 1999 as a liberating arena in which to consider new ideas and create parallel perspectives to the Gallery's primary program, and as a means of fulfilling the Gallery's responsibility to broaden visual references and education for its audience. Cellblock II is a perfect first show for the new location as its basis is a key principle of Gallery 2 – combining works and/or artists one might know, including historical artists as well as those of a younger generation, to create unexpected relationships and significant dialogues around a subject that has not been explored in such depth. The Gallery 2 program also provides the opportunity to work with esteemed independent curators and art historians, and the Gallery is extremely proud to spotlight this profound brainchild of Robert Hobbs, the prominent scholar and curator known for his extensive, in-depth, historically important writings on Robert Motherwell and a plethora of other artists, and also known as the definitive RoBert Smithson scholar.
Cellblock II, at the new location (544 West 24th Street), features works by a greater range of artists such as Vito Acconci, Alice Aycock, Tom Burr, Jean Genet, Robert Gober, Peter Halley, Nancy Holt, Will Insley, Donald Judd, Robert Morris, Robert Motherwell, Bruce Nauman, Beverly Pepper, Ad Reinhardt, Sterling Ruby, Tony Smith, RoBert Smithson, Jackie Winsor and Artur ?mijewski. Cellblock II is a dense exhibition combining historical material with an increased number of works and mediums, incorporating wall text, diagrams and video. It offers background information and contextual references that flesh out Hobbs' Cellblock concept without becoming didactic, since its goal is to stimulate viewers to draw their own conclusions. Cellblock II affords Cellblock I the opportunity to be a more visceral experience. Although still experiential, Cellblock II affords a more cerebral experience.