In his second solo show with this gallery, New York-based Jacob Robichaux shows new paintings, sculpture, collage, and prop. The exhibition is called “Tacto,” and certainly tactility is one of the artist’s motives. In color palette and pure exuberance—not to mention the integration of bingo chips as a material—the exhibition feels like walking into a party supply store in preparation for a celebration of the end of everything flat.
Robchaux’s canvases are painted three or four colors; an array of objects with an emphasis on stitching and sututre (yarn, strings,fabric, but also tacky ribbons cut from coffee sacks) are attached to the surface and frame in splotchy compositions. The stitches pinch the two-dimensional abstractions, turning them into erotic holes and causing the canvas to texture and bunch like skin. The colors pairings are both brilliant and startling: blue and steel; hot pink with a variety of colors; royal blue with black and red. Robichaux uses multiple coats of paint on raw material, such that the canvas achieves a variety of texture, and highly physical and optical effects of glare and reflection. Viewers could approach the work from a singular point and emerge with disparate experiences based on their physical proportion or trajectory. Painting for Robichaux suggests a phenomenal approach, and the disorienting effect of a fun-house mirror. The mix of color arches off the wall like voodoo duende in a carnival scene from Marcel Camus’ Orfeu Negro. (LEFT: BLUE/GOLD/RED. COURTESY THE ARTIST AND MUSEUM 52)
Groups of objects are strewn on the floor. A human mask is face down on the hardwood and invites viewers to correct its orientation. Lights bulbs, paper cups, bingo chips, a shoebox, book, candelabra are all enthusiastically curated bric-a-brac, an enchanting mix of clutter that surprises for its inanimacy because of its staginess and ability to insite a physical response in the viewer. The gallery’s back room is lit by a skylight, which here is an oculus, revealing eight collages prepared from the scraps of the aforementioned paintings. The fabric’s innate material lightness is exaggerated by the atmospheric sunbeams. It’s an atmosphere that isn’t merely tactile: One wants to sweat.
“Tacto” runs through October 10. Museum 52 is located at 4 East 2nd Street, New York. The artist will perform with his props on September 19, October 3, and October 10.