Scaramouche is pleased to present "Spirit & Matter", Michael Bühler-Rose's first solo exhibition in New York, featuring a new body of work which ranges from drawings and photographs to performative installations that deliberate on the nature of transformation.
Engaging in the often challenging conversation between spirituality and artistic practice, Bühler-Rose's investigations and aesthetic stem from his years of study and experience as a priest within a traditional school of Hindu ritual practice and spiritual transformation. This notion of transformation is central to the artist's exploration as he transforms the gallery space into a site of ritual with the artist as catalyst. The viewer is enticed to partake in both an immersive experience and the aesthetics of Bühler-Rose's visual narratives as a pilgrim visiting a deity.
Stemming from this context, a series of embossed white on white pen drawings entitled Spirit & Matter form an exercise in word play between the dichotomy of 'spirit' and 'matter'. The works explore the parameters of the oftentimes loose meaning of spirituality through its varied uses and its relationship to common ideas of materialism. The content of the drawings slips in and out of view like the use of the words themselves that seem to be absolute and then are lost.
Bühler-Rose's photographic work furthers the concept of transforming material into the spiritual. The work Permanent Photos of Temporary Forms focuses on the documents of transformed ritual imagery, which can only exist, by nature of the particular medium, in a temporary form - grass, turmeric, pigment, etc. In the work Puja, the image of a young woman engaged in ritual prayer captures the constant dialog between the visible and invisible, as well as the physical, meta-physical and transcendental. For the viewer/pilgrim, the literal process of transformation through ritual happens between 'matter' and 'spirit' whether it is through religious ritual or simply aesthetic phenomena.
Michael Bühler-Rose (b. New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1980) lives and works in New York and Vrindavan, India. His work has been featured in exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, MA; Sackler Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; Fitchburg Art Museum, Fitchburg, MA; ViennaFair (Special Project), Vienna; Witte De Witte, Rotterdam; Nature Morte, in Berlin and New Delhi venues; Bose Pacia, New York; Chatterjee & Lal, Mumbai, among others. He is an instructor at the Rhode Island School of Design and The Cooper Union, NY, and is the recipient of the NADA Swing Art Award, as well as a Fulbright Fellowship. Upcoming solo exhibitions include the Everson Museum of Art, and Light Work, both in Syracuse, NY; Carroll and Sons, Boston, MA; and VoltaNY Art Fair presented by Scaramouche.