Glen Rubsamen / The Petrified Forest

1. Juni bis 19. Juli 2024

Glen Rubsamen
The Petrified Forest

Glen Rubsamen, 1957 in Los Angeles geboren, ist ein Porträtist der vom Menschen geschaffenen Umwelt mit starkem kalifornischen Einschlag. In seinen Gemälden stellt er die absurden Auswüchse urbaner Landschaften in scharfen Silhouetten vor dem Hintergrund der surrealen Farben der Morgen- oder Abenddämmerung dar.

Mit zuvor fotografierter städtischer Infrastruktur, kommerzieller Werbung und Vegetation schafft er oberflächlich verführerische, aber subtil abgründige Momentaufnahmen des amerikanischen Lebens.

Die Annemarie Verna Gallery freut sich, The Petrified Forest zu präsentieren, eine Auswahl von Fotografien, die Glen Rubsamen im Jahr 2023 in Los Angeles aufgenommen hat. Diese Fotografien dienen ihm als Grundlage für seine Gemälde. Der Künstler bietet einen Einblick in sein Archiv und nimmt uns mit auf eine sehr persönliche Reise durch seine Heimatstadt.

Alle Bilder in der Lightbox ansehen

 

MEDUSA VILLE

Text by Glen Rubsamen for the exhibition The Petrified Forest, 2024

“When I was very young and first heard about the Petrified Forest I assumed the forest had been turned to stone because Medusa had looked upon it. I had a children’s picture-book version of Ovid’s Metamorphoses in German (both my parents emigrated from Germany to the US and spoke German at home in Los Angeles). I remember believing that Medusa’s gaze turned not only men into stone but anything male – and in German “der Wald” is most definitely male. To complicate matters, I conflated the meanings of “petrified,” assuming that this stone forest was also scared, mortified, and in some way astonished by the fact. If you are petrified, you are frightened, so frightened that you cannot think or move: thus immobility became an attribute of fear. For me, this misunderstanding evolved into a kind of world view where inanimate objects started to acquire a fear of death. Not only objects, but complex structures made up of inanimate objects, like cars and roads and buildings. Suddenly, I imagined the whole city, Los Angeles, possessed by a kind of thanatophobia. This was validated by the film noir movies on television, which depicted an urbanism both malicious and fearful. Archie Mayo’s 1936 noir classic The Petrified Forest, starring Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, and Leslie Howard, was one of the movies that I watched when I got home from school in the Hollywood Hills. For me, Los Angeles was at its most “petrified” at dusk or dawn, the penumbra on the edges of day and night. Later, in my teens, I became an umbraphile, obsessed with any object that blocked the sun and revealed complex shadows.

The process of petrification or fossilization is extremely fickle and complex. A tree must be buried in mud or silt for millennia so it is completely turned to stone by permineralization. All the organic matter (such as cellulose) is replaced with minerals (mostly silicates, such as quartz), which retain the original structure. The petrified object becomes a relic: a three-dimensional sculptural representation of the organic original. For me, this is an analogy for an urbanism in which a city’s older elements are replaced by new ones, but the older structures and systems remain. The photos in this exhibition document this urban petrification in a thousand tiny details. The direction of the sun, property rights, the flow of traffic, the arbitrary decisions of corporate capitalism, the fertility of the soil, the social class of the neighborhood, energy and lethargy – these all contribute to ongoing metamorphoses. As new elements appear in the cityscape, the older ones are subsumed but they still dictate limits on position and orientation.
A photograph is a type of petrification. It creates simulacra: recognizable appearances, preserving states of being, capturing a city’s movements and appearances, rendering them timeless. Like the petrifaction enacted by Medusa’s gaze, photography is the most prolific creator of “visual” statuary. The photograph becomes the relic, eliciting an interplay between self-sustaining and self-effacing, between the tension of the verbal and visual spheres of representation, between the mimetic and the enigmatic, life and death, presence and absence. These photographs of Los Angeles, all taken in 2023, mark the sixty-fifth year of my attempt to comprehend this city. Medusaville is empowered through our own imagination, while her appearance, necessarily unknown, remains elusive.”

 

Installation views

Glen Rubsamen / The Petrified Forest

Installation view Raum 4

Glen Rubsamen / The Petrified Forest

Installation view Büroraum

Glen Rubsamen / The Petrified Forest

Installation view Büroraum

Glen Rubsamen / The Petrified Forest

Installation view Büroraum

Glen Rubsamen / The Petrified Forest

Installation view Büroraum

Glen Rubsamen / The Petrified Forest

Installation view Büroraum

Glen Rubsamen / The Petrified Forest

Installation view Raum 1

Glen Rubsamen / The Petrified Forest

Installation view Raum 1

Glen Rubsamen / The Petrified Forest

Installation view Raum 2

Glen Rubsamen / The Petrified Forest

Installation view Raum 2

Glen Rubsamen / The Petrified Forest

Installation view Raum 3

Glen Rubsamen / The Petrified Forest

Installation view Raum 3

Glen Rubsamen / The Petrified Forest

Installation view Raum 4

Glen Rubsamen / The Petrified Forest

Installation view Raum 4

Works

Glen Rubsamen / Ancient Truths   2023  41 x 51 cm acrylic on panel

Ancient Truths
2023
41 x 51 cm
acrylic on panel

Glen Rubsamen / El Super   2023  51 x 41 cm acrylic on panel

El Super
2023
51 x 41 cm
acrylic on panel

Glen Rubsamen / Arlington   Wing Stop   Raymond Ave   Through Street alle: 2023, Digigraphs, ed. 6 51 x 41 oder 41 x 51 cm 19 x 13 or 13 x 19 inches

Arlington

Wing Stop

Raymond Ave

Through Street

alle: 2023, Digigraphs, ed. 6
51 x 41 oder 41 x 51 cm
19 x 13 or 13 x 19 inches

Glen Rubsamen / Superior   Alteration   Casmalia   Planet alle: 2023, Digigraphs, ed. 6 51 x 41 oder 41 x 51 cm 19 x 13 or 13 x 19 inches

Superior

Alteration

Casmalia

Planet

alle: 2023, Digigraphs, ed. 6
51 x 41 oder 41 x 51 cm
19 x 13 or 13 x 19 inches

Glen Rubsamen / Divide   Ted’s   Chung Ki Wa   Pretty Simple   Felix   Open To Public alle: 2023, Digigraphs, ed. 6 51 x 41 oder 41 x 51 cm 19 x 13 or 13 x 19 inches

Divide

Ted’s

Chung Ki Wa

Pretty Simple

Felix

Open To Public

alle: 2023, Digigraphs, ed. 6
51 x 41 oder 41 x 51 cm
19 x 13 or 13 x 19 inches

Glen Rubsamen / Fill Up   Rooter    El Super    Joy Bargain alle: 2023, Digigraphs, ed. 6  51 x 41 oder 41 x 51 cm 19 x 13 or 13 x 19 inches  

Fill Up

Rooter

 
El Super
 
Joy Bargain

alle: 2023, Digigraphs, ed. 6
51 x 41 oder 41 x 51 cm
19 x 13 or 13 x 19 inches

 

Glen Rubsamen / World    Insurance    My Garden    VIP alle: 2023, Digigraphs, ed. 6  51 x 41 oder 41 x 51 cm 19 x 13 or 13 x 19 inches  

World
 
Insurance
 
My Garden
 
VIP

alle: 2023, Digigraphs, ed. 6
51 x 41 oder 41 x 51 cm
19 x 13 or 13 x 19 inches

 

Glen Rubsamen / Ok Stereo   Cloudburst   Farfetch    Avalon alle: 2023, Digigraphs, ed. 6  51 x 41 oder 41 x 51 cm 19 x 13 or 13 x 19 inches

Ok Stereo

Cloudburst


Farfetch
 
Avalon

alle: 2023, Digigraphs, ed. 6
51 x 41 oder 41 x 51 cm
19 x 13 or 13 x 19 inches

Glen Rubsamen / Los Alamos   America    Commerce    Hand Wash alle: 2023, Digigraphs, ed. 6 51 x 41 oder 41 x 51 cm 19 x 13 or 13 x 19 inches

Los Alamos

America

 
Commerce
 
Hand Wash

alle: 2023, Digigraphs, ed. 6
51 x 41 oder 41 x 51 cm
19 x 13 or 13 x 19 inches

Glen Rubsamen / Oxnard   Tattoo    Long Beach    Mobil alle:  2023, Digigraphs, ed. 6 51 x 41 oder 41 x 51 cm 19 x 13 or 13 x 19 inches  

Oxnard

Tattoo
 
Long Beach
 
Mobil

alle: 2023, Digigraphs, ed. 6
51 x 41 oder 41 x 51 cm
19 x 13 or 13 x 19 inches

 

Glen Rubsamen / Woody    NO BULL    St. Andrews    Colosseum alle:  2023, Digigraphs, ed. 6 51 x 41 oder 41 x 51 cm 19 x 13 or 13 x 19 inches  

Woody
 
NO BULL
 
St. Andrews
 
Colosseum

alle: 2023, Digigraphs, ed. 6
51 x 41 oder 41 x 51 cm
19 x 13 or 13 x 19 inches

 

Glen Rubsamen / LXP    101 South    Bargain    OXY    Balance    99 Cents alle: 2023, Digigraphs, ed. 6 51 x 41 oder 41 x 51 cm 19 x 13 or 13 x 19 inches  

LXP
 
101 South
 
Bargain
 
OXY
 
Balance
 
99 Cents

alle: 2023, Digigraphs, ed. 6
51 x 41 oder 41 x 51 cm
19 x 13 or 13 x 19 inches