Art by Kara Rooney in “The Heroic Object,” and an essay by Kara in the catalog for “Magnicent Obsession”

Posted by on Apr 2, 2014 in Exhibitions, Faculty Writings | No Comments
Kara L. Rooney, Damned if you do, Cast resin, 6.5" x 5.5" x 7", 2013

Kara L. Rooney, Damned if you do, Cast resin, 6.5″ x 5.5″ x 7″, 2013

VCS faculty member Kara Rooney has work in the upcoming exhibition The Heroic Object at Parallel Art Space, which opens this Saturday, April 5th. Here’s some information about the show and a description of Kara’s work from the gallery’s press release (you can find the full text of the press release on the gallery’s Facebook event page for The Heroic Object; it contains more information about the exhibition and the other artists who will have works on display):


The Heroic Object

Parallel Art Space proudly presents The Heroic Object, a collection of works from Vincent Como, Joshua Johnson, Peter Lapsley, Raymond E. Mingst, Russell Perkins, Kara L. Rooney, Magdalen Wong, and Frank Zadlo that hone in on the art object, traversing realms from the mythic to the prosaic, deploying, by turns, allegory, commodity, manifesto, buried gold.

April 5 – May 11, 2014
Opening Reception: Saturday, April 5, 6 pm – 9 pm
Hours: Sat/Sun 1-6pm and by appointment
Location: 17-17 Troutman Street #220, Ridgewood, NY 11385 (map)
Direction: L Train to Jefferson St. / B57 (Flushing Ave) to Cypress Ave.

The classic stories of the ages tend to have, at their heart, heroes engaged in some form of movement. Whether it’s Ulysses’ ten year struggle to return home from the Trojan War, or Frodo’s mission to destroy an evil ring, or Jane Eyre’s striving to remain true to her interior convictions despite the push and pull of her exterior circumstances, the destiny of our heroes on the page is fulfilled via their movements within the story. Through the processes they undergo along their way, both Herculean and small, the development of our protagonist can be considered heroic in proportion to how much it teaches us about ourselves, warns us against our baser natures, and reflects our collective non quantitative ‘truths”.

Likewise it is an interest in the journey of the art object through creative action, the adventure of material across the influences of intention, environment, and time that is at the core of the grouping of artworks in The Heroic Object. Though necessarily divergent in their individual artistic aims, the artists assembled here have some specific item playing a central or supporting role in these artwork’s development and impression. In materials as disparate as petrified wood, tetragonal crystalline prisms, creased paper, and 24k Gold, these works and the objects within them have much to tell. Whether pointing toward the projected grandeur and myth of Modernist Form, or reframing our ideas on politics and historicity, or revealing the implications hidden within consumer goods and marketing, each work has a pivotal part to play in a myriad of aesthetic plotlines including those of the committed artist, the intrepid viewer, and the larger, unfolding narrative of art itself.

The art practice of Kara L. Rooney spans disciplines including sculpture, performance, drawing and painting, and accommodates interests such as communication, lexical systems, the socio-political, and art-history. In The Heroic Object Rooney offers a photo-collage that pairs references to two different paintings, one a more traditional landscape and the other a Frank Stella “Black Painting”, which were, for their time, a sort of manifesto of “painting as object unto itself”. The implied Heroic forms in this work conflate notions of high and low art, while it’s scale presences issues of monumentality, expression and communion. Also on view, a cast-resin sculpture whose convoluted form and presentation alludes to both formal aesthetics and the preoccupations of the corporeal.

Kara Rooney is a New York-based artist, curator and critic working in performance, sculpture and new media installation. She is the Managing Art Editor for The Brooklyn Rail, and faculty member at School of Visual Arts where she teaches art history and aesthetics. Her visual work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums including the Queens College Art Center, NY; A.I.R. Gallery, NY; Shoshana Wayne Gallery, CA; Gallery Aferro, NJ; the Chelsea Art Museum, NY; the International Women’s Museum, CA; the Jersey City Museum, NJ; the Montclair Art Museum, NJ; and the Pera Museum, Istanbul. Her critical writings have been published in Art in America, The Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic and Performa Live as well as in conjunction with the collaborative writing group, Open Dialogues. Kara earned her M.F.A in Art Criticism and Writing from the School of Visual Arts in 2009.


Kara has also written the catalog essay for “Magnificent Obsession,” an ongoing exhibition of early paintings by Joann Gedney that’s up at Rox Gallery through April 7th. Here’s a little more about that show:

Joann Gedney

IFAC and Rox Gallery Present:
Magnificent Obsession | Joann Gedney | The Early Paintings 1948 – 1963
March 7– April 7, 2014 | Opening Reception, March 7, 6-9 pm
Curated by Gregory de la Haba
Essay by Kara L. Rooney and film by Charlotte Ghiorse

IFAC and Rox Gallery are proud to present a selection of over 60 paintings and works on paper by the abstract expressionist Joann Gedney. This is the first time these works have been on public display since the 1950’s. The 1950′s ushered in an unprecedented wave of artistic convergence in New York City. Lured by the vibrancy of the East Village, the late painter and founding member of March Gallery, Joann Gedney (1925-2013), arrived in 1947 after graduation from Wheaton College and ultimately befriended many of the great artists who defined the Abstract Expressionist generation, particularly Milton Resnick who lived above her 8th street studio and Franz Kline, her first love, who lived down the block. A retrospective exhibition of this integral New York artist’s early work, 1948-1963, will be on view from March 7 – April 7 at Rox Gallery. Join us as we celebrate Joann Gedney’s “magnificent obsession”, and Abstract-Expressionist lyricism.


Visual & Critical Studies