Paul Rousso Exhibit PRINT AIN’T DEAD to open at Avant
Gallery New York City at Hudson Yards
Co-presented by Art Miami, Avant Gallery Will Also Preview it’s
Art Fair Booth by Constructing it in its New York City Location
November 1st, 2021, New York, New York — Paul Rousso’s new show, PRINT AIN’T DEAD, will open at Avant Gallery, New York City, at Hudson Yards on November 5th, 2021. The exhibit, which will be co-presented by the Art Miami art fair and serve as a preview of Avant Gallery’s booth built onsite at its New York City location, will include sculpture and collage from Rousso’s lengthy career, including new works from the New York Times series, Magazine Collages, Big Money, Butterfly Wings, Cup of Money, amongst others. This is a sweeping retrospective of our visual culture examining how two-dimensional images exist in our three-dimensional world.
A renowned pop artist with a classicist’s training, Rousso meticulously creates, employing a multi-phase process that includes a variety of methods: painting, printing, sculpting, welding, chemistry, digital manipulation, and digital printing. He received his BFA in 1981 at the California College of Arts in Oakland. Today, he works as a full-time artist in his native Charlotte, North Carolina. Rousso has produced a massive, singular oeuvre that appears in public and private collections around the world. His public projects appear across the United States.
Rousso’s work is a decades-long exploration into what the artist calls “Flat Depth.” Through his trademark style of representing the printed world on paper surfaces that assume additional planes in the geography of printed ephemera, Rousso morphs these familiar images into full being. Rather than simply recreating what we recognize — like candy wrappers or currency — he expands the scale and introduces, quite literally, a new dimension.
There is a narrative of the culture at large that one cannot miss in an exhibit such as PRINT AIN’T DEAD. The newspaper is rumpled and tossed aside. The dollar bill is creased and wrinkled when we carelessly force it into our pocket. The wrapper, gleaming with bright temptation, is crushed when we have finished the contents. This artwork evokes not merely the familiar design of the printed world as we conceive it: this is the printed world as it truly exists after it has journeyed through the realms of human beings.
In this way, Rousso merges the ethos of pop — to explore the most accessible images imaginable — with the storytelling of classical sculpture. It’s upholding the quotidian events of our lives and rendering them large, worthy of a second look, capable of holding something meaningful that might be discovered. It’s ennobling to our common experiences. Rousso’s viewpoint avoids the trap of becoming sentimental or tedious with the sheer fun of the piece.
It was 37 years ago when Rousso first discovered his central artistic impulse and laid the groundwork for a series of magazine collages, some of which were produced for the very first time and will be unveiled at PRINT AIN’T DEAD. At the time, he worked as an art director at Grey Advertising in New York, doing design for clients like Revlon, Clairol, Condé Nast and Bloomingdales. The moment happened while he dutifully created a composite advertisement for Revlon using methods from the days before Photoshop — a razor blade, spray adhesive and clear acetate overlays with text.
After spending all night at work, the collection of unused prints caught his eye. These were images of different models posed in slightly different positions. He began to cut out elements from each. Slowly, a face began to take form.
The resulting collage was both hideous and beautiful, both a wry critique and a genuine work of art. He continued to explore these creations, eventually turning to sculpture as a way to evoke the physicality of the paper forms to which his work refers.
His background in print design gives insight into Rousso’s love for the form and respect for the people behind it. When he lovingly replicates a Butterfinger wrapper, there is no smirk or ironic distance. There is, instead, an appreciation for the craftsmanship and artistry that goes into all the print we see. From the morning newspaper to the afternoon snack to the cash we pull out of our wallets to buy both, our lives are filled with designed images. While we likely don’t know the names of the people who composed them, we view these images more than any Van Gogh, Rothko, or Basquiat.
PRINT AIN’T DEAD works as a manifesto and love letter to this field, written in large, intricately detailed sculptures. To witness these works and walk among them is to awaken a new appreciation for the aesthetic experiences available to us at all times. Rousso’s work, then, reinvigorates our everyday life. Through his artwork, he shines a light on the art all around us.
Avant Gallery is proud to present PRINT AIN’T DEAD at its New York City location at Hudson Yards on November 5th, 2021 and running through the end of the year. For more information, visit www.avantgallery.com. You can find Avant Gallery on Instagram @AvantGallery.
This exhibition will serve as a kickoff to support the 31st live edition of Art Miami featuring 200+ international galleries which will run Nov. 30th – Dec. 5th . Attendees visiting the Rousso exhibition at Avant Gallery will be able to register for VIP credentials to the Art Miami fair through a portal via a QR code set up at the gallery.
For more information on the artist, visit www.paulrousso.com or his Instagram @paulrousso.
For more information on Art Miami, visit www.artmiami.com or their Instagram @artmiamifairs
About Avant Gallery
Avant Gallery was founded in Miami beach in 2007. Since that time, its mission remains unchanged: to enrich contemporary art on the world stage by presenting innovative art in visually dynamic ways. Avant Gallery represents a diverse roster of emerging and mid-career artists.
Avant operates multiple venues, including Downtown Miami at Brickell City Centre; Aventura, FL in the luxury wing of Aventura Mall; and The Shoppes at Hudson Yards in New York City.
From ambitious gallery exhibitions to immersive installations and performance experiences, Avant Gallery is dedicated to building an environment where art, culture and luxury converge.