December 1, 2018 — January 5, 2019
Conduit Gallery is honored to present, Roman Candle, a solo exhibition of paintings by Marfa based artist Michael Roch. In his first exhibition at Conduit Gallery since 2008, Roch continues to juxtapose comic animal imagery against formal constructions though through color, shape and pattern, the new paintings become far less minimal than earlier works and offer an exciting range of visual topics.
Roman Candle is a visual conversation between Roch’s personal interests and structure. A love of comics and a need for heroes and order form a continuum throughout Roch's work. Though narrative in nature, the work embodies its own language of repeating patterns paired with formal compositional arrangements: rows of wood grain form blocky fighters; scribbled elephants that cover the paintings like wallpaper; the familiar silhouette of a dog from the funny page. Always drawn to narrative, this new work likewise actively relays information from one painting to another. While in the past, Roch used storytelling as a departure point for his work, the new work arises from bare inklings and notions which Roch then expands to full volume on the canvas.
Michael Roch earned an MFA from Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas in 1998 and a BA in Environmental Design from Texas A&M, College Station, Texas in 1991. Roch served as studio assistant to Donald Judd from 1993 to 1994 and relocated to Marfa, Texas where he has lived and worked since 1995. Roch is currently Director of Education at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, TX. Roch has exhibited previously at Conduit Gallery with solo exhibitions in 2008, 2006, 2003 and 2001. Selected additional exhibitions include; Entrance, Marfa, TX (2013); Marfa Book Company (2004, 2000); Gallery 1313, Austin, TX (2002); Artpace, San Antonio, TX (2007); Ballroom Marfa (2006); Diverse Works, Houston, TX (2003); and the Arlington Museum of Art, Arlington, TX (2003).