Keyser and Mikus

Rosy Keyser and Eleanore Mikus
May 25 - July 7, 2019

Parts & Labor Beacon is pleased to announce its inaugural exhibition, Rosy Keyser and Eleanore Mikus. Featured in this show are new paintings by Brooklyn-based artist Rosy Keyser from her ongoing series “The Hell Bitch” and a selection of works by Eleanore Mikus dating from 1968-2010, including early wall-based reliefs - one of them enamel on fiberglas, another epoxy on waxed wood - and framed works on paper and vellum.

The signature physicality of Rosy Keyser’s works reveals the artist’s ongoing approach: activation inevitably necessitates containment which leads, eventually, to neutralization. Elements of studio detritus are worked onto, or embedded into, the canvas surfaces, echoing gestures (i.e. strokes, splatters, action, pause) achieved by many painters using more traditional tools. Imbued with a capacity for synaesthetic interpretation of rhythmic or sonic qualities, and a complex sense of movement and dynamism, these paintings -- appointed such freewheeling, mellifluous titles as Samurai Hinge and Breakneck Jazz -- reflect the corporeal cues to which Keyser has responded, in turn working surfaces both concave and convex. Composing texture and tactility as though she were thrusting offerings into a fire, Keyser gives varied media including fringe, brushes, tubes, pipes, hoses, sawdust, horse hair, raffia, textile fragments, and zip ties, in concert with worked oil and acrylic paints and mediums, to the painting’s surface, resisting micromanagement as she allows the inherent power of the painting to take control. Keyser’s practice is in and of itself a dialogue running from destruction to completion and back again.

Among the ten works by Eleanore Mikus in this exhibition are two examples from the artist’s seminal “Tablet” series dating from 1968, and a diverse selection of “paperfolds” dating from 1980 to 2010. Art historian Robert Hobbs, who interviewed and has written extensively on Mikus, describes the black tablets as “shadows manifested as solid forms, reflections of themselves and their own mystery.” Mikus earned a Master’s degree in Asian Art History and had a particular interest in eighth century Chinese literati painter Wang Wei; embracing ideals stemming from Eastern and Buddhist edicts, Mikus sought to reveal the aesthetic importance of all elements in her own studio practice. Mikus saw her surfaces as records of human movement and decision-making, merging decisive gesture with random encounters. An imperfect surface such as an indented fold or a pocked board would become a place of chance interaction between the artist’s gesture and a found material. A record of both touch and the experience of vitality in nuanced texture, Mikus’ images reflect upon the passage of time. As he reflects upon the artist’s notes -- namely, Mikus’ assertion that “What I’m trying to paint and say is the feeling which is beneath all that is seen on the surface” -- Hobbs observes, in his 1991 essay “Eleanore Mikus: Shadows of the Real,” a direct correlation between Mikus’ deliberate and focused process and a specific way of seeing. There is an immutable wisdom in Mikus’ understanding of material nature and movement that her subtly-worked surfaces allow one to observe.

Rosy Keyser (b. 1976, Baltimore, MD) grew up in rural Maryland where she developed a sensational awareness of tools and materials in the outdoors. She earned her BFA at Cornell University in 1997 and her MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2003. Keyser has shown extensively throughout the United States and Europe, including solo exhibitions at Maccarone (New York and Los Angeles), Peter Blum Gallery (New York), and Contemporary Fine Arts (Berlin, Germany). Group exhibitions include Painter Painter at Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN) and Pink Caviar at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (Humlebaek, Denmark). Keyser’s work is held in the permanent collections of the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (Humlebaek, Denmark), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN), Portland Museum of Art (Portland, ME), Zabludowicz Collection (London, England), and the Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation (Bloomfield Hills, MI). Rosy Keyser was a Fall 2017 artist in residence at the Chinati Foundation (Marfa, TX).

Eleanore Mikus (b. 1927, Detroit, MI; d. 2017, Ithaca, NY) studied art history at the University of Denver, Colorado, receiving her B.F.A. in 1959, and moved to New York City in 1960. In 1960, Mikus came to Manhattan and began her career as an artist; by 1961, Mikus’ work was included in a group show at the Whitney Museum of American Art, catching the attention of artist Ad Reinhardt, amongst others. That same year, the Museum of Modern Art acquired her work and included it in their 1965 New Acquisitions show. In 1967, she completed a Masters degree in Asian Art History at the University of Denver, Colorado; Mikus then returned to New York where she continued to live and work until 1972. Mikus was a member of Cornell University’s Studio Art faculty from 1979 until her retirement in 1994, and remained involved as professor emeritus. Mikus’ work can be found in museums throughout the United States, Japan, and England, including: National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), The Museum of Modern Art (New York), Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (Bentonville, Arkansas), Birmingham Museum of Art (Alabama), Cincinnati Museum Center (Ohio), Indianapolis Museum of Art (Indiana), Los Angeles County Museum of Art (California), Norton Simon Museum (Pasadena, CA), The Gallery (Kyoto, Japan), International House of Japan (Tokyo), and Victoria and Albert Museum (London).

Gallery hours are Saturday and Sunday from 12-6 pm starting May 25th. 
The gallery will be open by appointment all other times. 

For images, biographies, and further information, please contact the gallery at