Christopher Grimes Gallery will present Roxy Paine in his first solo show on the West coast.
Roberta Smith says in the New York Times that Paine "might best be described as a brainiac with great technique and a prevailing love of moving parts." He has arrived onto the international contemporary art landscape with an assortment of conceptually robust ideas. Smith adds: " 'in progress' is a permanent state" for this artist's work.
Among projects of the last few years, Paine has made machines to fabricate paintings, drawings, and sculptures automatically; he has recreated poppy fields as real-looking plots of land and has installed replicas of wild mushroom fields in the Terra Museum in Chicago and the Musée d'Art Américain in Giverny, France. Paine was included in The Visionary Landscape exhibit at Christopher Grimes Gallery in Jan. 2000, and the 2000 Lyon Biennial in France and All-Terrain: Contemporary Visionary Landscape at Contemporary Art Center of Virginia in March 2001. His work is currently in 010101: Art in Technological Times at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art until July 2001.
Roxy Paine will exhibit a new body of work based on wild mushroom fields. His painstaking recreations of fungi move beyond trompe l'oeil visual artistry by insinuating processes of decay and proliferation within the gallery. "Where there are mushrooms, there is death, whether it is dead wood or grass. . .," says Paine. "Thus the field implies the decay of the gallery floor and the architecture surrounding it." They also imply "regeneration because mushrooms are the first step in the breaking down of organic compounds, ultimately nourishing new life," he says.
A dichotomy between organic and technical processes invigorates much of Paine's work. In numerous projects, the artist says he is "taking that romantic idea of [artistic] expression and forcing it into this context of mass production which it resists." By automating the fabrication of artwork and by reproducing natural growth, Paine extends his rational functioning to an absurd degree.
Roxy Paine lives and works in New York, where he was born in 1966 and where he completed his graduate studies at Pratt Institute.