Air de Paris

Rob Pruitt

06 Apr - 07 May 2011

© Rob Pruitt
Installation view
6 April - 7 May, 2011

The title of Rob PRUITT's third solo show at Air de Paris is his name – just that and no more. Just as the celebrated, much sought-after, contemporary art trophy, the Rob Pruitt Art Award, also takes the artist’s name.

For this new exhibition PRUITT is presenting two new projects. His new series of paintings translates this season's IKEA wall art into lush oil paintings. IKEA takes the look of valuable art and makes it affordable; Pruitt brings this full circle by taking the mass produced IKEA items and making them unique. Taking a cue from Jasper JOHNS who in the 1950's used the found compositions of targets, American flags, and political maps of the United States as a location for luxurious paint application, PRUITT uses the "original" IKEA compositions as a starting point. The style of paint application varies from heavy impasto in the expressionistic style to a more refined photorealistic technique to something similar to the more humble skills of a pastry chef decorating a cake.

Among the oil paintings are anthropomorphic cardboard robots. The sculptures appear as if they had wandered into the exhibition, and stand before the paintings both bemused and contemplative. Their eyes are made of retrofitted shop-bought clocks with rotating pupils that scan the room. They clearly share DNA with historic works: RAUSCHENBERG's Cardboard series in 1971-1972, the crushed car works of John CHAMBERLAIN, and Jim HENSON's Muppets.

These surrogates for the gallery goer are made from recycling-ready, logo-bright cardboard boxes gleaned from the streets of New York and are a compressed litany of everything we consume as a society. You could easily call them grotesques.

So yeah, no title, just Rob PRUITT.

Rob PRUITT has been exhibiting work internationally for the past 25 years. In 2009, in association with White Columns, Rob Pruitt conceived and presented his performance-based artwork "The First Annual Art Awards" at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. The second annual art awards will take place at Webster Hall in December 2010. Pruitt has been included in numerous exhibitions internationally including: “Pop Life,” Tate Modern (2010); “Mapping the Studio,” Palazzo Grassi (2009); “The Gold Standard,” PS1 Contemporary Art Center, New York (2006); “Seeing Double,” Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA (2005); “Following and to Be Followed” Consortium, Dijon, France (2003); Shanghai Biennale 2002, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China (2002); “Vantage Point,” Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland (2001); "Protest and Survive!, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, UK (2000); as well as the seminal exhibition, 'Post Human', curated by Jeffrey Deitch, Castello di Rivoli, Museo d' Arte, Contemporanea, Rivoli, Italy (1992).
The public sculpture, The Andy Monument, as a tribute to the late artist, will be presented march 30 in Union Square, New York.

Tags: John Chamberlain, C.T. Jasper, Jasper Johns, Rob Pruitt, Andy Warhol