Many people were initially introduced to the work of Clare Rojas in association with a generation of San Francisco artists that became internationally prominent in the early years of the last decade. Made canonical through the exhibition Beautiful Losers, much of Rojas' work then drew from various Russian and Eastern European folkloric subjects. Often dancing or engaged in general gaiety, Rojas' figures were born into a world that was increasingly becoming abstract.Read More
The acceleration of abstraction is arguably the greatest aesthetic paradigm in 20th century art and its history is as much aesthetic as it is political. Rojas' works mark a critical time in art history just prior to a crucial aesthetic bifurcation - the emergence of purely abstract work on one hand and the development of propagandistic Social Realism on the other. In this early series of her works, Rojas addressed this historical distinction not only in the work's style and content, but also regarding the public and social-driven nature of its exhibition.
In recent years, Rojas has made work that is increasingly abstract. While one might initially say that the figurative aspect of her work has been removed, it is not hard to see its lasting impact on Rojas' practice. Drawing from a similar palette and employing simplified and elegant forms that bear a resemblance to the figures of years past, Rojas' work begs the question again as to not only how we cognitively distinguish what is abstract from what is representative, but how these aesthetic distinctions that were critical over a century ago still have a significant impact on contemporary art today.
Clare Rojas (b. 1976 in Columbus) lives and works in San Francisco. Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions including self-titled shows at Vladmir Restoin Roitfeld, New York and Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen; Spaces in Between at Kavi Gupta Chicago | Berlin; Pith at Prism, Los Angeles and We They, We They at IKON Gallery, Birmingham and the Museum of Craft and Folk Art, San Francisco. Rojas’ work has been reviewed in such publications as the Huffington Post, Artforum international Magazine, Art in America, Interview Magazine, the New York Times, and Art Review. Rojas' received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2002 and her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1998.