I reviewed Rob Pruitt’s exhibition at Gavin Brown’s enterprise and Maccarone for Art Agenda this week. Here’s what I said:
Rob Pruitt’s joint exhibition at Gavin Brown’s enterprise and Maccarone, “Pattern and Degradation,” presses a few of my buttons. Even before stepping into the gallery I had some concerns—the notion of filling over 8,200 square feet with two years of new work without compromising quality seems a stretch, so naturally the show’s theme is about excess. According to the press release, the work is informed by the Amish tradition of Rumspringa, a two year right of passage in which Amish teenagers are allowed to indulge in all the excesses of modern life before returning to a more modest existence. Pruitt’s exhibition posits a world in which he lives in a “Permanent Rumspringa,” a concept that sounds suspiciously like a marketing ploy to explain over-production.
Seeing as how only two rooms of eight directly deal with Amish culture, there’s not much reason to think otherwise even if indulging in contemporary excess is likely to occasionally exclude a lot of the religion. At the far end of Gavin Brown, rows of both modernist and traditional Amish chairs coated in silver weakly gesture to the religion, as do a number of large patterned paintings referencing traditional Amish quilting. The basic gist of these pieces seems to be “What if my tablecloth could be large and bold enough to create optical vibrations?”
To read the full piece click here.