Dedication Association: Aric Obrosey, Renato Orara

curated by Laura Mackall
February 27 – April 3, 2004
Gallery 2
Installation Views
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Press Release

The careful and obsessive making of the work in this show could imply that everything is defined and explained outright. However, Aric Obrosey's and Renato Orara's incessant fine tooling and outstanding technical knack are secondary to their abilities to transform their technology into work with its own life. This exhibition includes drawings by Renato Orara and works of varying media, including printmaking and painting, by Aric Obrosey.

Aric Obrosey's intricate, sometimes repetitious, designs and layers are mesmerizing to look at. At first, "Lace Field (Paris Star)" seems like it was mechanically made. It was, in a sense, but the ‘machine' was Obrosey himself. Using one-inch square ebony blocks that he hand carved and then stamped precisely to cover a 50 x 50 inch piece of paper, he makes stars and hexagons out of ropes bound together. The resulting ground is not only a beautiful surface pattern, but also looks like it might be climbable, like a wall of rope at a playground. Other pieces, such as "Lace Fragment", incorporate elemental lace units to produce what could be the physical manifestation of a musical rhythm, from a staccato beat to a melody. Despite the extreme care that is required to make each piece, Obrosey's work leaves the impression that his process has an intuitive and nearly spontaneous element.

For over a decade, Renato Orara's medium has been ballpoint pen on a small piece of paper; depicted is a single item. Similar to the Zen meditation that he has studied, his artistic practice is an exercise in contemplation – both in the time each piece takes to make and for the viewer. Though his subject matter is uncomplicated – a vegetable, a toy, a tool – his interest and the outcome has its own transcendent reality. The definition of the object represented is secondary to the many associations that Orara's drawings conjure, due to what the object is or, more simply, the shape that it is. Attended to with results similarly seen in scientific renderings, Orara's deft and meticulous touch nods to the historical role of documentation that drawing has occupied. However, because of his unapologetically compulsive execution and his choices of subject and placement the whole is very much outside of science and quite emotional in effect.