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- No. 5, Lane 67, Section 1, Jinshan South Road, Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei City Taiwan, R.O.C
Since a young age, Rosy Keyser has lived between tranquil rural areas and busy metropolitan centers. She has found a habit of shifting in and out of these very different environments. What interests the artist is not only the differences between these surroundings nor choosing one situation over the other, but the process of transition and transformation. Her perceptiveness of varying states and the world around her is expressed through her creative practice.
This consideration and energetic tension can be felt through her works. In one of her recent works, Medusa Elegy, paints of different colors spread across the background, while other materials such as seaweed or cut papers are orchestrated into a pensive abstract form that creates a contrast to the wildly spread colors.
Rosy Keyser is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. After a BFA at Cornell University, Keyser went on to graduate with a masters degree in Painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The artist now lives in New York State, splitting her time between Brooklyn and Medusa.
Keyser is known as a painter who is never shy to tackle big or small challenges on the canvas. Those who are familiar with her past works and exhibitions would remember how diverse her materials and subjects are. Rosy Keyser does not only incorporate found materials or objects as a part of her artworks when the works invite, she lets them take on the role as a dynamic tool or compositional influencer. In some of her 2012 works, large pieces of scavenged corrugated steel are used, the time-honored and weather-beaten material becomes a unique rib cage and creates an unpredictable space when it hugs the canvas or stretcher, and sometimes the painting is even devoid of canvas. These works are both paintings and sculptures, and they would differ from the more gestural works with free and bursting brushstrokes in her other series such as Periscope, a swirling investigation into gravity and a curious way of asking how methods of observation influence how we see what we see. Sometimes her artworks revolve around a theme that inspires her at the moment, such as syncopated rhythms in Southern Music or structure in minimalist poetry and caligrammes (shaped poems).
For her first solo exhibition in Taipei with Nunu Fine Art, Keyser brings a series of new works that are not only demonstrative of her versatility and powerful grasp of her medium, but also offer a profound insight into her recent residency on the Danish island of Læsø. In this exhibition, Keyser brings 10 new mixed-media abstract paintings that she began on Læsø and subsequently completed in Brooklyn. The works encompass the artist’s extensive exploration and thoughts on human states of being, the inner spiritual connection to the outer world, and a deeper reality that goes beyond ideas and languages and may only be grasped through the spiritual senses. The work in this show reflects a state of ‘free-fall’ where the figure and the environment are pushed through a process which encourages an integrated “oneness”.
Generally speaking, Keyser’s vantage points and references are diverse and porous. At times they could seem unconventional and shocking, such as one of her past exhibitions titled “Hell Bitch” that features a dominating physical matrix (the first painting in a series) which generates a new and unrestrained group of paintings that constitute a “social contract”. Sometimes they are rather earthy and quotidian: advertising sign posters (for music festivals) that provide the essential cue. This exhibition title, “I’ll Fly Away”, an early 20th century spiritual hymn, also famously sung by Willie Nelson, brings the audience to Keyser’s interest in the playfully shifting states of nature through which things recalibrate, reorganize, restructure constantly. The title also suggests the artist’s search for transcendence beyond a static world.