Clare Rojas: The Magic of It All
July 9-August 6, 2022
For her first Los Angeles pop-up show, Jessica Silverman is thrilled to present Clare Rojas’s “The Magic of It All,” on view for only four weeks from July 9 to August 6. This new body of work fuses the artist’s magic realist figuration with her precise abstraction to create compositions that are at once witty and sublime. Combining the surreal whimsy of Dorothea Tanning with the geometric vigor of Kazimir Malevich, Rojas explores the curious and precarious beauty of the California coast and its sentient wildlife.
Opening Weekend: July 9–10 from 10AM–6PM
Public Viewing Hours: Thursday–Saturday, 11AM–5PM or by appointment, please email.
Location: Case Gallery
Between W 3rd St & Alden Dr
Across the street from Georgetown Cupcake on Robertson Blvd
In a large, richly textured oil painting titled She Believed in the Magic of It All (2022), a solitary woman in a red dress stands at the edge of a road amid an enchanted landscape. This recurring femme figure is at once a self-portrait, a sorceress, the goddess of the void, and an archetypal Earth Mother/Mother Earth. In this painting, she looks up and waves to a flock of black birds and witches as they fly by.
Rojas’s interest in animism—drawn from the folklore of her Peruvian heritage—enlivens the paintings with otherworldliness. Invisible Door (2022), for example, depicts a bird flying towards a threshold delineated by a rectangular black line. On the other side of the threshold, a geometric pattern suggests the spirit or the evolutionary energy of a feathered animal with the capacity for flight.
While every painting affords delightful surprises, one or two offer a tiny shock. I’ll Always Have this Little Movie in My Head (2022), for instance, features an omniscient face rising from the ocean while a ghostly deer leaps from a cliff and the leash of a sprinting dog severs a woman in such a way that she loses her head.
In this work and nine other paintings, the viewer is invited to bear witness to the tragicomedy of human survival, the absurdity of patriarchy, and the woe of environmental disaster. Fearlessly existential but ultimately hopeful, Rojas’s pictorial philosophy looks to nature as an enlightening force that heals, guides, invigorates, and inspires wonder.
Clare Rojas (b. 1976, Columbus, OH) is in the permanent collections of MoMA New York; SFMOMA; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Dakis Joannou Collection, Greece; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Spain; Progressive Art Collection, Cleveland, OH; San Jose Museum of Art, CA; Berkeley Art Museum, CA; and the Smart Museum, University of Chicago. She has been awarded grants and residencies from Artadia, Eureka Fellowship, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, and the Headlands Center for the Arts. She has enjoyed solo exhibitions at MCA Chicago; IKON Gallery, England; Museum Het Domein, Netherlands; Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, MA; Savannah College of Art and Design, GA; Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita, KS; Knoxville Museum of Art, TN; Belkin Satellite, Vancouver; CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco. She has a BFA in printmaking from Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA in painting from School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Rojas lives and works in the SF Bay Area, CA and is represented by Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York and Jessica Silverman, San Francisco.