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Unstill Point
solo exhibition by Douglas Ross
September 25 - (extended) November 7, 2021

PRESS RELEASE


 

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Douglas Ross, 'Hand/Eye', 2016-2021, Colored pencil on paper, acrylic frame, 18.5 x 30.5 in.

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Douglas Ross, 'Hand/Eye', nd.-2018, Colored pencil on paper, acrylic frame, 18.5 x 30.5 in.

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Douglas Ross, 'Hand/Eye', 2012-2016, Colored pencil on paper, acrylic frame, 18.5 x 30.5 in.

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Douglas Ross, 'Untitled (Unstill)', 2012-2013, Spray painting by Simon Walton on 15-point Carolina gloss paper, 19 x 14.5 in.

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Douglas Ross, 'An eye saw', 2019, Colored pencil on paper, 9 x 12 in.

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Douglas Ross, 'An eye saw', 2019, Colored pencil on paper, 9 x 12 in.

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Douglas Ross, 'An eye saw', 2020, Colored pencil on paper, 9 x 12 in.

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Douglas Ross, 'An eye saw', 2020, Colored pencil on paper, 9 x 12 in.

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Douglas Ross, 'An eye saw', 2020, Colored pencil on paper, 9 x 12 in.

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Douglas Ross, 'An eye saw', 2020, Colored pencil on paper, 9 x 12 in.

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Douglas Ross, 'An eye saw', 2020, Colored pencil on paper, 9 x 12 in.

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Douglas Ross, 'An eye saw', 2021, Colored pencil on paper, 9 x 12 in.

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Douglas Ross, 'An eye saw', 2020, Colored pencil on paper, 9 x 12 in.

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Douglas Ross, 'Untitled', 2021, Colored pencil on paper, acrylic frame, 18.5 x 14.5 in.

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Douglas Ross, 'Unstill Point', 2007-2021, Medium format slide projection, 80 slides, Dimensions variable

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Douglas Ross, 'Untitled', 2021, Colored pencil on paper, acrylic frame, 18.5 x 14.5 in.

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Douglas Ross, 'Untitled (Unstill)', 2012-2013, Spray painting by Simon Walton on 15-point Carolina gloss paper, 19 x 14.5 in.

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Douglas Ross, 'Untitled (Unstill)', 2012-2013, Spray painting by Simon Walton on 15-point Carolina gloss paper, 19 x 14.5 in.

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Douglas Ross, 'Untitled (Unstill)', 2012-2013, Spray painting by Simon Walton on 15-point Carolina gloss paper, 19 x 14.5 in.

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Douglas Ross, 'Untitled (Unstill)', 2012-2013, Spray painting by Simon Walton on 15-point Carolina gloss paper, 19 x 14.5 in.

installation photography by Dario Lasagni

 

Press Release

Evolving over fourteen years, Douglas Ross’s photographic, hand-drawn, and painted works in the exhibition equate distinct genres of image making.

'Unstill Point' (2007-2021) is a medium format slide projection closing distance between documentary, journalistic, touristic and landscape picture-taking, in which the significantly altered bronze sculpture by Fritz Koenig, 'Große Kugelkaryatide',(1) also known as 'The Sphere' (1967-1971), appears at or toward the center of eighty photographs. 'The Sphere' once rotated slowly clockwise on a fountain of gushing water at the center of the former World Trade Center Plaza; the slide carousel of 'Unstill Point' registers a temporal and anachronistic echo. Compressed and punctured, the sculpture was salvaged and reassembled in Manhattan’s Battery Park in 2002. From 2007 to 2013 Ross photographed 'The Sphere' at all times of day and night and in all seasons, with exposures of a fraction of a second and up to twenty minutes. In 'Unstill Point' the dislodged, centered object abates photography’s compositional games, rather the subject amplifies contingencies of lived-time within a city, and the variousness within and between photographs.

"Knowing 'The Sphere' especially from my LMCC studio residency in 2000 at the top of WTC Tower 1,” Ross describes, “I froze upon encountering it on The Battery and photographed there initially just trying to hold these two incongruent thoughts — that object, and that place with its own history. On the WTC Plaza 'The Sphere' was a kind of archaic trophy casting a triumphant stare... On The Battery it had a feeling of futurity, however conflicted.”

Also sequenced at Cathouse Proper is a small selection of the one hundred paintings on paper Ross commissioned in 2012 from longtime spray-artist Simon Walton as he was taking a break from producing and selling his NYC skyline paintings for crowds of tourists in Lower Manhattan. 'Untitled (Unstill)' (2012-2013) portray multiple extraplanetary worlds.

Ross’s colored pencil drawings in the exhibition, 'Hand/Eye' (2012 to 2021), beyond grasping something manufactured or gently recovering a vulnerable body part, suggest ever more disembodied vision, versatile surveillance, and monocular self-examination. Untitled orb drawings installed indicate a temperature and opticality of matter accelerating, colliding, merging, settling. The vibratory mark making of drawings titled 'An eye saw' (2014-2021) began for Ross with the troubling sensation and notion of living with effects without causes, catching sheer special effects untraceable in time,(2) which for the artist connects to technological utopian forms of denial,(3) and circulated through thinking about pulverization, unsettled dust, and our now familiar expression “bad optics.”

1.

The pre-Greco-Persian War (499-449 BC) maiden columns of Delphi were not called caryatids until Vitruvius misinterpreted or reinterpreted them as such. According to Vitruvius the architectural support resembling the female figure represents the enslaved women of post-war Caryae. Koenig's understanding of this is not known. Male figuration in a column is known as telamon or atlas.

2.

“It’s clear
That if things came from nothing,
they would suddenly appear
At random intervals and at the wrong time of the year;
For there would be no basic particles of generation
To be hindered from a fruitful meeting in a hostile season.”

 

—Lucretius’s 'De Rerum Natura' ('The Nature of Things')

3.

https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2020/06/30/tech-causes-more-problems-than-it-solves/

Working with numerous mediums including photographic objects, video, textiles, sculpture, and various machines, Douglas Ross’s art develops through multiple conceptions of place, time, and event, or how anthropocentrism works. Ross has participated in exhibitions and screenings at Queens Museum, SculptureCenter, the Walker Art Center, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Ballroom Marfa, MOCA Miami, Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin, MoMA PS1, NetwerkAalst, Museum Villa Stuck, New Museum, The Allen Memorial Art Museum, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Rotterdam Film Festival, Circulo de Bellas Artes, and elsewhere. Ross has been in residence at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, MoMA PS1 National Studio Program, LMCC’s World Trade Center World Views Program, and ARCUS Project, Ibaraki, Japan, among others. Grants and fellowships include Socrates Sculpture Park, the Asian Cultural Council, the Nancy Graves Foundation, and the Smithsonian Institution Artist Research Fellowship. Ross has held Visiting and Assistant teaching appointments in Tokyo Geijutsu Daigaku’s Department of Musical Creativity and the Environment, Rhode Island School of Design’s Sculpture Department, Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, and Pratt Institute’s Humanities and Media Studies Department. Douglas Ross currently lives and works in Queens, New York.