B. 1976 COLUMBUS, OHIO | LIVES AND WORKS IN SAN FRANCISCO
For Clare Rojas (b. 1976, USA), storytelling man-ifests in many different ways: sometimes visually, as a painting, drawing, or sculpture; or other times musically, as a song. Yet one similarity Rojas has noticed between these various forms of expression has to do with reduction. Her songwriting pares down the essence of a story to something that can be conveyed in minutes, just as the essence of form and line in her abstract visual compo-sitions is reduced to an examination of the tension of balance.
However, though theoretically reductive, Rojas’ highly individualized visual language also represents an escalation. Each composition proliferates from a personal totemic form un-rooted to figurative meaning, but evocative of the shape of a drop of water or a mountain. The form has evolved over time, from an abstract shape that Rojas instinctively drew to something concrete she began noticing in her everyday visual environment. Says Rojas, “The more I drew it, and meditated on the shape, the more I saw it everywhere I looked. I found it in the figure, in nature, in water, in land, in animals.”
In her most recent exhibition, Egret, at Kavi Gupta in Chicago, Rojas expanded her relationship with this form. She mobilized it as both a metaphysical anchor and an aesthetic start-ing point for more than 100 new abstract works, including one hundred 8×10-inch drawings, nine new large-scale oil paint-ings, and several new sculptural works. This visually stunning and conceptually rigorous body of work continues Rojas’ ongoing ex-amination of the human will towards story, an instinct marked by our search for narrative relationships with images, even when they are essentially abstract.
Rojas earned her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, and her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Recent projects include a site-specific commission for the Art in Embassies Program in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico (2018), a two-person exhibi-tion with Barry McGee at the Watari Museum, Tokyo, Japan (2017), and a solo exhibition at the Alice Gallery in Brussels, Belgium (2016). Other recent solo exhibitions include New Works at Anglim Gilbert San Francisco; self-titled shows at Vladmir Restoin Roitfeld, New York and Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Co-penhagen; Pith at Prism, Los Angeles; and We They at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art, San Francisco. Rojas’ work has been reviewed in such publications as the Huffing-ton Post, Artforum International Magazine, Art in America, Interview Magazine, The New York Times, and Art Review.
Clare Rojas created ‘untiled’ in 2019 for Art+Action’s 2020 Census campaign. The hand meets a the bird symbolizing connection and freedom.