November 22 to December 21, 2008

[!11388] Pat Rocha
Oil on canvas
30 x 30 in.
31 x 31 in. framed
Contact the gallery for pricing and availability.

Joshua Liner Gallery is pleased to present Departure, an exhibition of new paintings by the Missouri-based artist Pat Rocha. Departure is Rocha’s debut solo exhibition in New York.

Across this series of twelve oil-on-canvas paintings, Rocha presents a realist vision of Midwestern rural and small-town life, yet one tinged with nostalgia, spiritualism, ghosts, and the skewed perspective of childhood. His richly scumbled oils collapse multiple time frames into a single lush image, often expressing a wistful humor. Rocha uses a trompe l’oeil technique of blurred backgrounds and fine-edged, foregrounded figures to suggest a “cut and paste” reality. The picture plane is a surface on which to manipulate memory and desire—Rocha’s painterly form of wish fulfillment.

Departure, the painting that gives the show its title, depicts three figures from successive generations, each distinguished by the era of their clothing. Though gathered in the same forest locale, each figure appears to exist in a different dimension—the old man sharp and clearly lit, the young woman transparent and barely there, the older woman in sepia, like an old photograph. These shifting styles of representation overlay Rocha’s visual narratives with mystery and embody the artist’s interest in nostalgia, the supernatural, and the surreal.

Other works depict a range of Midwestern experience, from a typical 1950s den in Jet Set to the hardscrabble, prairie existence of Kansas Death Trip. In all, Rocha draws on vivid childhood memories, including haunted houses, devastating tornadoes, and growing up with ten siblings, most of whom practice artmaking in some form.

As the artist notes, “My interest in human nature and the drama of living compels me to paint. Sometimes when I’m looking at an old photograph, I’ll stare at the person in the photo and imagine myself in the same room. It’s impossible for me to paint a portrait without having a story to tell behind it. When the story hits me, I’ll look for additional pictures to accommodate the central theme. Then the painting begins to take on a life of its own.”

Largely self-taught, Pat Rocha was born in 1959 in Topeka, Kansas, and lives and works in Kansas City, Missouri. Rocha’s work has appeared in group exhibitions across the United States, including Collaborations at Mercy Seat Gallery and Comunidad at La Esquina in Kansas City, MO (2008); Four Play and Winter Faction at Lineage Gallery, Philadelphia, PA (2007); Would You Like Art With That? at Carmichael Gallery of Contemporary Art, West Hollywood, CA (2006); and at Franklin Peppermint Gallery, New York (2005). He worked as a courtroom artist for the NBC and Fox television networks from 1992–2006.

Joshua Liner established Joshua Liner Gallery in New York City’s Chelsea district in 2008. Building on the success of his former, Philadelphia-based Lineage Gallery, Joshua Liner’s Chelsea space introduces an exciting roster of young and emerging artists from the West and East coasts, Asia, and Europe.

Also on view, in Gallery I: Kris Kuksi, Imminent Utopia, November 22–December 20.


Related News
Kris Kuksi and Pat Rocha opening reception (November 25, 2008)