Sheldon Museum of Art


Date of this Version



Sheldon Solo, Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden, September 7- November 26, 1995


All images are copyright by the original artists. Publication copyright 1995 The Regents of the University of Nebraska


Though emerging artists often dazzle us with brash or daring work, the artist at mid-career has reached a level of consistency and retrospection that delivers the work from facile solutions. With a career that now spans more than twenty-five years, Warren Rosser's work has evolved into the kind of subtle dialogue between carefully honed technique and highly articulated personal vocabulary that is achieved only with the diligence and insight of maturity. "Dislocated Emblems" is a watershed of Rosser's long commitment to his art. These new works are the culmination of an intensely productive year when Rosser's aesthetic, philosophical, and emotional concerns converged, resulting in multimedia constructions that are both visually and intellectually compelling.

Schooled as a painter in his native South Wales, much of Rosser's work refers to the dilemma of rendering a three-dimensional world on a two-dimensional surface. This classic conundrum has led Rosser into sculpture, back to drawing, and, most recently, away from gesture and toward works that include photography and kinetic elements. Fundamental to his physical solutions is Rosser's reference to the human form. In earlier works, the body was an explicit subject. With "Dislocated Emblems," Rosser uses the verticality of the figure as an implied coordinate, a way of orienting the viewer to the artist's psyche.

Some of Rosser's titles give us an indication of his thematic concerns. Titles like Reflex and MemoryRevisited, Stages, and Union of Fortune- Tellers and Alchemy allude to the artist's interest in universal concepts such as the duration of time, the mutability of perception, and the transitory nature of human experience. Poetics aside, Rosser has committed himself to deciphering the plethora of information that bombards us daily, organizing and dissecting his visual language and placing it in a wider, philosophical context. He has set as his task the creation of "emblems" that signify the very stuff of reality: time, motion, and memory. Throughout the exhibition, single works are constructed as sequential imagery, to be read in real time, from left to right, or from top to bottom. Machinelike, motorized components churn and whir, lending magically absurd qualities to the more formal elements. In each work we are met with a complement of sensory signposts, as the eye moves from form to shadow, from actual space to the ghostly residue of a form, from static imagery to rotating contraptions which emit lowlevel repetitive sounds that mimic the body's pulse.