Jacci Den Hartog. Come and Show Me the Way installation view. 2012.
Rosamund Felsen Gallery is pleased to present Come and Show Me The Way, a new exhibition by Jacci Den Hartog, which will mark Den Hartog’s second exhibition at our gallery. The new artworks from her now familiar sculptures of painted plaster over metal armatures now appear on a flat surface of painted paper, simulating the desert landscape. In addition, she will also be showing a variety of artworks from the early days of her career in Los Angeles, as the themes relate to the work she is currently making.
Continuing her investigation into the meanings of "landscape," Den Hartog's new works take their formal cues from the weavings of the Navajo and the unique geological features of the American Southwest. With no real point of reference, the scale of Den Hartog's mountains is something left for the viewer to decide — where on the abstract planes of her desert do we position ourselves?
Perhaps her titles, taken from the 60’s soul singer Dusty Springfield’s profound laments, provide some compass. In I Close My Eyes But I Still See, a towering promontory emerges from a field of dark reds, grays, and blues. The undulations of the sculpted form underneath Den Hartog’s systematically painted grid cues the viewer, in tandem with the Springfield title. In I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself, one can see the undulations of its valleys in grays and muddied pinks closed tightly around a streak of brilliant azure down the sculpture’s center.
For the artist, the titles are more than a simple nod toward the prolific British pop star of the 60’s, indeed, Den Hartog's appropriation of the singer's laments extend beyond a tip of the hat into deeply personal territory, as she has identified with their lyrics while coping with her mother's declining memory at the hands of Alzheimer's. As well, the Navajo-inspired patterning ties back into her memories of childhood — because of the transient nature of her early life, the Navajo rugs her parents collected came to symbolize, when they were put on the floor, the establishment of Home.