Visual Arts Program
 

Friday, May 10 — Friday, June 28

Stephanie Rohlfs

Put One Over

Stephanie Rohlfs - <em>Put One Over</em>
Stephanie Rohlfs - <em>Put One Over</em>
Stephanie Rohlfs - <em>Put One Over</em>
Stephanie Rohlfs - <em>Put One Over</em>
Stephanie Rohlfs - <em>Put One Over</em>
Stephanie Rohlfs - <em>Put One Over</em>
Stephanie Rohlfs - <em>Put One Over</em>

Opening Reception & Artist Talk
Friday, May 10, 2019, 8:00 pm

exhibition continues through June 28

Hallwalls is pleased to present a selection of recent sculpture by San Francisco artist Stephanie Rohlfs entitled Put One Over. Rohlfs' work springboards from a clean surface appearance and concise formal gestures into a hybridized set of works that make the artist seem part minimalist, part colorist, part humorist. Rohlfs' sculptural gestures are so adroitly specific and contained that each element—a field of color, a drooping form, a slab of shelving—takes on more imminent and emphatic articulation. Like beats in a story or a punchline to a joke, Rohlfs' forms are expressive in appearance while their appearance also evokes a pining to express. She has likened them to tourists in a new place, interacting with qualities of curiosity, clumsiness, and misplaced confidence.

There is an internal sense of pathos that pierces the good humor of their surfaces. The works succinctly evoke a quality of potential failure through their postures and sometimes fragile components. Yet, at the same time, they are complete and—if not entirely confident—sufficiently resilient to maintain themselves and some sense of ephemeral dignity. Their material nature often emits a tentative quality—perhaps the hesitancy of a tourist—though they are never undermined by uncertainty. Rohlfs finds a fine line between pathos and a confident sense of self.

The works are a combination of traditional materials—wood, clay, epoxy clay, paint, steel, copper) and found objects, with the frequent incorporation of shifting materials such as candles, scents, food, or living plants. These temporal elements introduce a deep humanism to the works, as they change and transform over time—growing, wilting, degrading—in a way that denies their complete articulation as commodified art objects. This quixotic animation of the works adds another layer to their sense of self.

Rohlfs' works feel like both characters and situations. They are not rigorously anthropomorphized yet we can find a way to recognize ourselves in them and the scenarios they occasionally describe are the preposterous reflections of our own folly. In each of these aspects, they often read as self-deprecating, as though they are telling jokes of which they are the butt. Even so, this self-deprecation or pathos never really undermines their beauty. Their color palettes and physical forms are graciously rendered, even within their occasionally awkward aspects.

www.stephanierohlfs.com