ROBERT OVERBY

The ACX Series and Related Paintings

May 5 through June 16, 2001

 

Fredericks Freiser Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of paintings by ROBERT OVERBY. Mr. Overby's work dates from the late 1960's to the late 1980's, and was seldom exhibited during his lifetime. Since 1995, his latex casts of architectural elements, paintings, objects, and drawings have been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions including a survey of works from 1969 to 1978 at the UCLA Hammer Museum. His work is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and others. This will be his third solo show in this gallery.

 

...The prolific output of Robert Overby, who died in 1993 at the age of 58, is only now becoming more widely known. Moving between drawing, painting, printing, and sculpture, the artist specialized in a brand of corrupted (he called in 'Baroque') Minimalism. He instilled a highly personal, poetic, and social content into what were basically reductive, process-oriented works: marrying pure materials such as rubber, lead, canvas, concree, resin, and wood to banal objects and abject spaces. All manner of crappy, dirty, broken things formed in the subject of his work: socks and handkerchiefs, shattered windows and splintered doors, bondage masks, beaver shots, coat hangers, cans, belly-buttons, and man-hole covers all cropped up during the high point of his production in the 1970's. With his been-down-so-long-it-looks-like-up-to-me sensibility Overby wasn't afraid to crawl in the gutter and the resultant work refused to accomodate itself to the expectations of market or spectator. --Charles LaBelle

 

Despite a diversity in mediums and an equally wide range in subject matter, Overby created a chesive body of work; referring consistently to the human form as described in the language of every day experience (be it the geometry of our architecture or the imaging of the media). His wood cut-outs of the mid '70s are oil paointings painted on the "bad" side of ACX plywood (the lowest grade of plywood.) This is the artist's first major series after his cast-latex Barclay House and his sewn canvas "maps" (canvas duplicates of previous latex castings). Here, Overby returned to the issues of surface, decay, and disinntegration. Ghost-like walls and doors were replaced with faces, eyes and body parts. The images are lifted from pornography, bondage magazines, and a head based on an Albrecht Durer painting that Overby had used earlier in his career. The pun was not lost on the artist--casting rubber to painting images of rubber, making a living as a graphic artit to making "graphic" art. Still, where the earlier rubber works recorded absences with a skin-like physicality, these pieces record an equivalent emptiness with a less supple material. Overby continued an investication into the body and the loss inherent in its representation.

 

Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am to 6 pm. For further information and or photographs please contact the gallery by telephone at (212) 633-6555, fax at (212)367-9502, or email at fredericksgal@mindspring.com