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Rob Fischer

Rob Fischer at work

Dodgeball

We are pleased to announce HP Editions’ collaboration with Brooklyn-based artist Rob Fischer. Fischer’s art is most commonly seen in the form of sculpture created from discarded materials. His work was featured in the 2004 Whitney Biennial and more recently at the Mary Goldman Gallery in LA and Cohan and Leslie in NYC. Fischer’s roots as a native of rural Minnesota resonate in his work, accompanied by feelings of desolation and decay. He describes plans for a future project as “a sort of changing of the guard to the natural order.” These words also fit his collaboration with Master Printer Cole Rogers.

At Highpoint Editions Fischer has been creating prints from recycled gymnasium floor boards. Rebecca Dimling Cochran in a 2006 Art Papers review observed: “The Lifecycle of objects is a paramount notion in Fischer’s work. The creation, use, and subsequent abandon of an object or structure to decay constitute his process.” During this project the reclaimed floor boards originally used in Fischer’s sculptural work acted as the plate or matrix for the prints. After being wiped intaglio style, the boards were rolled in relief, thereby capturing the shape of the boards as well as the scratches and flaws earned by their years of use. Patches of color will be screen printed onto certain areas of the print, hinting at fragmented court lines from a gymnasium floor.

Calling Fischer’s materials discarded or recycled somehow devalues the living presence of the work. The prints take on the quality of a tribute to the materials’ former use. Emphasizing its symptoms of decay reminds the viewer of its function and the beauty of its utilitarian service. The wood flooring used to create the prints has had many lives in Fischer’s work for the past 5 years from “freestanding hallways [made] with this flooring, to the flooring itself without the walls and then into the mazes and short pathways on the walls.”

The many reinventions of the floor boards, including installations that go up onto the walls, seem to lead logically to two-dimensional work. This is where HP Editions comes in: this project allowed the boards themselves to go through the press creating impressions that open up multitudes of possible installations.

Highpoint recently asked Rob Fischer for his thoughts about his project at Highpoint Editions:

HP: Describe how your process for planning and creating your sculptures/ installations informs the work you are making with Highpoint Editions. What similarities/ differences have you discovered between the 3-D work and the 2-D prints?

RF: Planning and creating go hand in hand with most of my work, although there are exceptions, and to a limited extent this print is one of them. There is often a conceptualization of a structure (with the sculptures especially), in which it appears more or less complete in my head, a vague but complete notion that I keep in my thoughts over a period of time and parts seem to emerge like it was already in my memory. I see a new room or section of the sculpture that comes to mind as though I am coming around a corner and remembering that that is how it already was. Like it is already complete and by keeping it in mind I remember more and more of it, over the course of time. Days or weeks or more. I was going to say that it is the feeling that stays constant (as opposed to the idea of or conceptualization of the piece) but I am not sure that is completely true either. The structure is definitely secondary to the feeling, like the rooms or parts develop in service of amplifying and refining the feeling. The conceptualization follows the feeling. …So occasionally I will have these larger projects going on for a while and certain parts of them will coalesce a bit, with two or three parts starting to float together and then turn into sculptures. These pieces are abstracted from the larger and in their simplicity are able to sum up the essence of the larger.” 

Rob Fischer lives and works in New York. He has a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Fischer has received numerous awards including a Jerome Foundation Fellowship in 1995 and a Bush Foundation Visual Arts Fellowship in 1999. He has had solo shows at Ario, Beijing; Max Wigram Gallery, New York; Cohan and Leslie, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria, Altria, NY; Mary Goldman Gallery, Los Angeles; and Elizabeth Dee Gallery, New York. Fischer has also participated in group exhibitions at the Aldrich Contemporary Museum, Ridgefield, CT; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the 2004 Whitney Biennial, New York; the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.

For more information you can visit Derek Eller Gallery’s website at:
http://www.derekeller.com/