Richard Roth holds first exhibition of abstract works at Lamar Dodd School of Art Main Gallery

Richard Roth returns to painting, holds first exhibition of abstract works at Lamar Dodd School of Art Main Gallery

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Lamar Dodd School of Art Galleries are pleased to present Cowboy Magic, a solo-exhibition by Richard Roth. With this exhibition, Roth marks his official return to painting following more than ten years spent creating collections of the ‘readymade’ in contemporary material culture – an art-as-critique practice broaching the documentary aspects of cultural studies. Cowboy Magic will be on view from Sept. 4 – Oct. 5. A reception with Richard Roth present will occur on Sept. 6, from 6 – 8 p.m., including an opening night gallery talk with the artist from 6:30 – 7 p.m.

With Cowboy Magic, Roth exhibits the first series of abstract paintings created after his sabbatical from the studio – a period of time over which he broke away from the conventional ways of the studio artist, and explored conceptually-motivated projects, influenced by the likes of Claes Oldenberg, Gerhard Richter, and Donald Lipski, all artists who considered collections-as-art within their own careers. Realizing, as the artist writes, that “paintings are cunning artifacts that can alter perception, and create new narratives,” Roth resists the standardized, and at times repetitive, narratives of some contemporary art, asserting that abstract art – and these paintings in particular – requires not merely ‘unpacking,’ but engagement by audiences in order to be entirely read, an approach that urges ‘painting’ as an ‘event’ for viewers. From this position, Roth’s newest body of work emerges.

Diminutive in stature and of a minimal – but colorful – vocabulary, these new works are informed by the cultural and art historical research the artist has conducted into the artistic and innovative act of collection across cultures and eras. As critic Saul Ostrow writes, “Roth has spent a significant part of his professional life trying to escape the gravity of paint on canvas and has now been pulled back into its orbit.” The works resonate with references to pop art, and are almost illusory or deceptive in their simplicity. Form and opticality are chosen here, over a more painterly process, and culturally these works are aligned with a diverse range of forms – from package and product design to nature and modernist art. The artist is, as he says, “now making objects for my own ideal collection.”

Richard Roth received a M.F.A. from the Tyler School of Art and a B.F.A. from The Cooper Union. In 1991, he was the recipient of a Visual Artists Fellowship in Painting from the National Endowment for the Arts. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. He is the co-editor of the book Beauty is Nowhere: Ethical Issues in Art and Design and co-author of Color Basics. He is currently chairperson of the painting and printmaking department at Virginia Commonwealth University.

All Lamar Dodd School of Art Main Gallery events are free and open to the public. The Main Gallery is located in the Visual Arts Building on Jackson Street in Athens. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. For further information, contact Nora Wendl, gallery director, Lamar Dodd School of Art at 706/542-0069 or nwendl@uga.edu or visit www.art.uga.edu.