Mihai Nicodim Gallery is pleased to present its second solo exhibition of Welsh artist Neal Rock, his first in the US since relocating from London to Los Angeles in 2007.
Fanestra was made in 2009 for Rock’s first solo exhibition with a UK public gallery at the New Art Gallery Walsall, along with the accompanying wall piece Nonsobre, yet both were made entirely in his LA studio and are the result of formal and intellectual re-negotiations made since his transition to the west coast.
This exhibition presents both Fanestra and Nonsobre alongside new work made specifically for Mihai Nicodim Gallery. Rock’s deepening commitment to exploring legacies of physical painting through unique processes and the rupturing of formal devices is evident in the obsessional interlacing of form and surface, material and support in this new work. Fanestra itself, monumental in both scale and painstaking construction, takes its name from a passage in the memoir of the Greek born, Italian painter Giorgio de Chirico, who used the term as an allegory for creative determination and vision. Significantly, it also relates to the literal meaning from which this allegory is taken; the entanglement of kite strings in flight. When juxtaposed with Fanestra’s semantic connection to the Italian word for window, finestra, Rock wants us to use this triadic relationship to look at the fractured role and function of painting today as it stands between paradigmatic moments in its recent history, amidst a growing complexity of internal languages and their increasing hybridization with other forms of cultural production.
This exhibition captures Rock’s practice at a timely moment in its journey to maturation, holding tension between the decorative, insistent physicality of his earlier output and a visual-linguistic curiosity that this statement optimistically points towards.
Rock Graduated with an MA in Fine Art from Central St Martins School of Art & Design, London in 2000. Since then he has had solo presentations of his work in London, New York, Los Angeles, Amsterdam and Kansas City. His work has been included in numerous museum and public space exhibitions including ‘Expander’ Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2004. ‘Extreme Abstraction’ Albright Knox, Buffalo NY, 2005. ‘Can Buildings Curate’ Store Front, New York & The Architectural Association, London, 2005. ‘Landscape Confection’ Wexner Center Ohio, Contemporary Art Museum, Houston & Orange County Museum of Art, California, 2005. ‘Jerwood Contemporary Painters 2007’ Jerwood Space, London, 2007. ‘Get It Louder’ Curated by Newbetter & The British Council, Guangzhou, Shanghai & Bejiing, China, 2007. The New Art Gallery Walsall, UK, 2009.