Campoli Presti is pleased to present Rochelle Feinstein’s first exhibition with the gallery, Rainbow Room / The Year in Hate. Rochelle Feinstein has built a personal body of work that is deeply committed to painting as a medium inevitably entwined to its moment. Feinstein interrogates the function of abstraction within a larger cultural and political context yet always through the prism of her own lived experience. Through text/ground interplays and an incisive sense of humour, Feinstein scrutinises the formal repertoire of painting and her own positioning as an artist within the structures of art production.
For this exhibition, Feinstein will combine two mirroring propositions, Rainbow Room and The Year in Hate, to explore the dysfunctional relationships between language, perception and constructed meanings. Feinstein chooses two highly recognisable elements, a rainbow and a calendar to reflect on their nature as found forms.
Feinstein usually takes written or visual materials related to her immediate environment as a point of departure and allows them to permeate through the works, negotiating between history and biography. Inspiring metaphor and simile, rainbows have been a cultural signifier of hope, chance, and new beginnings. During her stay at the American Academy in Rome, Feinstein collected a set of images of a double rainbow to experiment with its deceptive meaning. Feinstein’s jagged, physically active surfaces end up deconstructing the rainbow’s vibrant colours to turn them into vacant atmospheres.
The rainbow’s counterpart, hate, is evoked in Feinstein’s silkscreen paintings based on professional vintage images of Italian boxing matches from 1938 to 1946. The Year in Hate recalls the incessant, never-ending acts of physical and symbolic violence as a result of the US’ current political administration.
As Feinstein has done in earlier works, titles set events into a different temporality, questioning the reductionism involved in fixing a particular month or date for a situation that is closer to permanent, such as the 'women’s history month' or 'earth day'. A different idea of periodisation is also present in the way Feinstein thinks about styles, series of works or retrospectives. Instead of temporally organizing works according to an overdetermined idea, Feinstein creates a pre/posthumous body of work, like in the Estate of Rochelle F., or alter the works’ order, like in her different versions of her retrospectives at the Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva, at the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus in Munich, at the Kestnergesellschaft, Hanover and her upcoming one at Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York.
Rochelle Feinstein’s (1947) work will be the subject of a major retrospective at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York, opening in November 2018. Her work was recently the subject of a solo exhibition at Kunsthaus Baselland. Preceding surveys were exhibited at Kestnergesellschaft, Hanover (2017), Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva (2016), and Lenbachhaus, Munich (2016). Feinstein was included in the 2014 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Feinstein’s work is part of the public collections of Lenbachhaus, Munich; Museum of Modern Art, New York and Perez Art Museum Miami. Feinstein is Professor Emerita of Painting and Printmaking at Yale University.
Press release courtesy Campoli Presti.