Rosson Crow's new exhibition "BALLYHOO HULLABALOO HABOOB" explores the collective national identity and the ways in which America is experienced, remembered and imagined.
The paintings are black-and-white explosions with a fervor that recalls both a Fourth of July fireworks show and a national disaster. Space caves in, dimensions are distorted and points of view are skewed as narrative succumbs to frenzy.
The title of the exhibition, "BALLYHOO HULLABALOO HABOOB," references glory's proximity to terror or chaos. The gallery explains the title "connotes the cyclical nature of American frenzy and loss with "haboob" (Arabic for huge sandstorm), which refers to both the Depression's Dust Bowl and the recent massive dust-storms of the southwest." The sound of a word can traverse history and space, and Crow makes the same move with her images. In her black-and-white palette, ashes, dust and debris look nearly inseparable from confetti and fireworks. The American dream is nearly indistinguishable from a nightmare.
Crow's new show differs from her past collections in its palette; she usually works with neon graffiti. Yet she continues her project of exploring and exploding rich, historical spaces. Crow's fearless histories are are the anti-textbook; instead of avoiding personal bias, the works are so full of personal perspectives their architecture is collapsing. Her works are rich with drama, passion and fear; in their monotone it is as if this is the American story as translated for the papers. The canvasses are dripping with old-timey Americana yet approached with a sharp, modern eye. A darkness looms over the nationalist hullabaloo, perhaps hinting at the ominous state of the country now.
The exhibition will show at Honor Fraser Gallery in Los Angeles from February 25 - March 31.