Tansey Contemporary proudly presents “The Space Between,” a solo exhibition featuring new works by Ohio-based artist Melinda Rosenberg that straddle the bounds of painting and sculpture on view June 1-29, 2019. The opening reception is Saturday, June 1 from 2-4 pm and the artist will be present.
Rosenberg’s background as a painter informs her often planar, wooden wall sculptures; she treats color as a material in its own right. Her masterful use of aniline dyes expressively interacts with the wood’s surface to create depth and highlight the material’s age, providing a sense of natural decay. With the works in her “Board Series,” Rosenberg plays with surface texture, metallic paints, and even glitter to create an almost holographic sense of color as the viewer interacts with a piece from various angles.
Rosenberg often uses salvaged and found materials in her sculptures: family heirloom furniture, mesquite from Palm Springs, mulberry from South Carolina, discarded Christmas trees, barn siding. Through her art practice, she gives the wood materials a new life. She sees this reuse honoring the passage of time of the materials, whether in highlighting the wood’s growth rings or showcasing the peeling layers of wallpaper on a salvaged wall panel. She aims to create pieces reflective of the original source material as an homage to its history and a celebration of its past life.
Rosenberg’s work is driven by both the divine and profane. She sees wood grain specifically as a sign of a great life force. She aims to give her works a spiritual, meditative presence, creating pause and pulling the viewer into the present moment. At the same time, Rosenberg celebrates play in her art practice. Her use of bold colors, metallic paints, and glitter point to experimentation, vitality, joy, messiness, awkwardness. She sees imperfection as a metaphor for humanity’s bungling and often misguided attempts to make sense of the world and our place in it. She points to the Hopewell earthworks at the Moundbuilders Country Club Golf Course as the perfect analogy for this duality: the simultaneous preservation of the structures and subversion of the sacred intent of the mounds. Rosenberg says, “I want my work to share this discord, an aesthetic that finds a way to be sacred and irreverent.”
Rosenberg lives and works in Worthington, Ohio. She received her BA and MFA from Ohio State University and studied Chinese language at Fu Jen University in Taipei, Japan. Rosenberg’s work is quickly entering public collections including the Ohio Craft Museum and Richard M. Ross Art Museum as well as numerous corporate collections such as Hilton Hotels, Glimcher Realty Trust, Rush Presbyterian Hospital, and Huntington Mortgage Company. She has been awarded numerous grants from the Ohio Arts Council and earned a three-month residency in Dresden, Germany from the Greater Columbus Arts Council.