George Rush: Middle Age (Part 1)

09/08/18 — 10/06/18

Last year, I spent three long days watching people in Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion. I took thousands of photographs during that visit. When I started painting them a few months later, I thought painting directly from photographs would be a brief side project. But, at the same time, I was taking photos daily with my cell phone, posting them online, spending hours swiping through them, texting them to friends—the type of things we all do these days. I began to see the possibility of paintings in these everyday pictures. I painted these things, rephotographed them, and texted them to friends, creating a feedback loop: pictures on the phone of paintings from pictures on the phone. The four paintings here are all of Columbus: my son’s tennis lesson, a flyer for a lost pet bird, a house on my street at night, a billboard for a strip club.

The wall painting is based on the Chicago pre-war apartment where Mies van der Rohe lived after emigrating from Germany in the 1930s. I wanted a backdrop for the paintings that simultaneously evoked modernism and a sense of the “traditional.” The paneling in pre-war urban apartments always reminds me of the modernist grid in hiding, camouflaged as ornament.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Appendix is publishing Human Resources in collaboration with the artist. Human Resources is a new book of approximately three hundred drawings completed over the last year and a half. Rush begins most of the drawings on the computer in Adobe Illustrator, before printing them out and drawing over them with ballpoint pen. The sequence of the book suggests a loose taxonomy of subject matter, combining new imagery with a reappraisal of old themes such as windows and interiors.

George Rush is an artist based in Columbus, Ohio. Since 2001 he has exhibited his work in solo exhibitions in New York, Copenhagen, Miami, Madrid, Santa Fe, Michigan, Texas, and Ohio. Last fall he produced a solo exhibition of paintings, Various Walls with Windows, for the Ross Museum of Art at Ohio Wesleyan University. He has received awards from The New York Foundation of the Arts and the Pollock Krasner Foundation and is Associate Professor of Art at The Ohio State University.