"Tohu va-Vohu," a solo exhibition featuring dimensional works on panel at Turley Gallery, Hudson, NY. (July 1 – 30, 2023). Installation images by Spencer House Studio.
With graphite, acrylic, gouache, and colored pencil, the exhibition imagines moments of tension and transition; on the precipice of becoming. The works expand on Stages of Fallout, an ongoing project begun in 2019 exploring the aesthetic language surrounding architectures of “safety” (bunkers, bomb shelters, separation barriers, and the home) and their physical and psychological effects. In Tohu va-Vohu, Rose explores what happens after “fallout”—what space remains for potential, growth, and change? What does this moment of tension look like?
The exhibition borrows its title from the Hebrew Biblical phrase found in Genesis (1:2): “Tohu” (formless) and “va-Vohu” (void), describing the state of the earth before the creation of light. Interpretations of the phrase vary from those believing it is meant to describe a tumultuous state of chaos and disaster, to those who believe it was simply a state, neither good nor bad, as the human concepts of “good” and “evil” did not yet exist. Whatever the meaning, Tohu va-Vohu presents a flicker of possibility.
In exploring these themes, Rose utilizes various symbols, including the crater (representing the aftermath of impact, a black hole, or alternately, an opening for something new), and the grid (acting as an organizing principle in the “mapping” of space, and as an unpredictable, ever-expanding spiral galaxy). The works in the exhibition present these states both in the micro of the everyday, and the expandant macro of the imagination, with imagery that is paradoxically grounded and celestial.