RUSSELL FLOERSCH | Two things together

On view: March 7 - April 18, 2019


NEW YORK – 57W57Arts is pleased to present a solo exhibition of work by Russell Floersch, which will span both our Waiting Room and Project Space galleries. Melanie’s Office will feature a dynamic pairing of works by Letitia Quesenberry and Rolf Siegenthaler. There will be an opening reception on Thursday, March 7th, and the exhibitions will be on view to the public through April 19th.

Many of the works in Russell Floersch’s “Two things together” are made from discarded packaging that once presented and housed everyday retail objects, as well as used plastic cups and foam supermarket food trays. Other material components include un-stretched canvas and felt, remnants from the studio, or found pieces discarded by other artists. Some works are paired in an effort to create a kind of station, installed to investigate the interactions of two discrete works, seen as one. Some of the combinations are produced by the overcrowding of materials in the artist’s studio, and some are the result of comments made by colleagues during studio visits or by the positive reactions to Instagram postings that capture the studio view of a group of works in-progress. For the past 25 years Floersch has engaged in an ongoing investigation honoring loss in found photographs. These photos occasionally appear in this group of work, and have been instrumental in the artist’s thematic use of materials typically ignored or thrown away.

Russell Floersch received his BFA from Buffalo State College and his MFA in painting from the University of Buffalo, SUNY. He has been awarded grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and the New York Foundation for the Arts, and in 1983 he travelled to West Germany on a Fullbright Fellowship. Floersch’s work has been included in group exhibitions at the Elizabeth Stone Harper Gallery at Presbyterian College, Kathryn Markel Gallery, Rochester Contemporary Art Center, Galerie oqbo (Berlin) and Pavilhao Branco – Museu da Cidade (Lisbon). Solo exhibitions include “Field Painting” and “New Work” at Stux Gallery; “Hella” and “from Denim” at Rooster Gallery; and “Unseen”, Floersch’s first one-person exhibition with 57W57Arts back in 2015.



On view: November 5 - December 18, 2015


57W57Arts is pleased to present “Unseen,” a solo exhibition of paintings by Russell Floersch. The title owes some of its meaning to several works that were begun twenty years ago and never exhibited. In our Waiting Room project space, Floersch shows for the first time, a group of small canvasses he characterizes as Reconstructions. Although most of these were begun in 1997, many have been completed in the last few years. They combine found photo fragments that are taped to the surface of small abstractions. Floersch uses a flat paint meant to evoke humble wall surfaces, and typically reworks paintings for several years­­­partly out of a restless search, and because he identifies with what Chantal Akerman might have meant by characterizing repetitive everyday acts and gestures as a “dailiness.” The Reconstructions share a pictorial commonality: a pair of cropped figures who make contact through their hands. Their titles are all prefaced with this thematic description: “Clasp.” Floersch strives for a naturalness in the final state of the work­­­as if the painting and its surface were something you might encounter in your everyday­­­especially as it relates to the build­up of paint through repeated application by a tradesperson covering a surface simply to protect it or introduce a different color.

In the Main Gallery of 57W57Arts, the focus shifts to more current work. Throughout this group, the repeated layering of thin applications of the same color results in a blanket­like surface, the small relief elements and their sharper features often obscured. “The works bear the accretion of many layers of paint, built up to become an index of the span of time, of memory, and of the act of making that each of them seeks to preserve. The objects of this makerly process become transformed in the process, as they oscillate in a twilight space between thing and image.” (Beth E. Wilson, “from Denim,” exhibition essay for Rooster Gallery, NY, April 2014)

Since the mid­1980’s Floersch has been interested in painting as labor; responding to and collaborating with objects and images, often of unknown authorship; and the notion of specific interior place as a subset of landscape.

Russell Floersch is represented by Rooster Gallery, NY.