Clare Rojas b. 1976, USA


For Clare Rojas, storytelling manifests in many different ways: sometimes visually, as a painting, drawing, or sculpture; other times musically, as a song. Yet one similarity Rojas has noticed between these various forms of expression has to do with reduction. Her songwriting pares down the essence of a story to something that can be conveyed in minutes, just as the essence of form and line in her abstract visual compositions is reduced to an examination of the tension of balance.


However, though theoretically reductive, Rojas’ highly individualized visual language also represents an escalation. Each composition proliferates from a personal totemic form unrooted to figurative meaning, but evocative of the shape of a drop of water or a mountain. The form has evolved over time, from an abstract shape that Rojas instinctively drew to something concrete she began noticing in her everyday visual environment. Says Rojas, “The more I drew it, and meditated on the shape, the more I saw it everywhere I looked. I found it in the figure, in nature, in water, in land, in animals.”


In her exhibition, Egret, at Kavi Gupta in Chicago, Rojas expanded her relationship with this form. She mobilized it as both a metaphysical anchor and an aesthetic starting point for more than 100 new abstract works, including one hundred 8x10-inch drawings, nine new largescale oil paintings, and several new sculptural works. This visually stunning and conceptually rigorous body of work continues Rojas’ ongoing examination of the human will towards story, an instinct marked by our search for narrative relationships with images, even when they are essentially abstract.


Rojas earned her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, and her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Recent projects include a site specific commission for the Art in Embassies Program in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico (2018), a two person exhibi tion with Barry McGee at the Watari Museum, Tokyo, Japan (2017), and a solo exhibition at the Alice Gallery in Brussels, Belgium (2016). Other recent solo exhibitions include New Works at Anglim Gilbert San Francisco; selftitled shows at Vladmir Restoin Roitfeld, New York and Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen; Pith at Prism, Los Angeles; and We They at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art, San Francisco. Rojas’ work has been reviewed in such publications as the Huffington Post, Artforum International Magazine, Art in America, Interview Magazine, The New York Times, and Art Review.