P·P·O·W is pleased to present Rhizome St. / Fugue Avenue, mosie romney’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. Working in the space between figuration and abstraction, romney uses painting as a portal through which to explore themes of self-perception and polychronic time. Often beginning with collage, romney stages fantasy worlds that disrupt our notions of reality, memory, and symbolic order. An introduction to a new body of work, Rhizome St. / Fugue Avenue immerses the viewer in an imaginary place of both rupture and renewal. With a new cast of characters, romney envisions the psychology of alienation and placelessness, taking the viewer on a flight of the unreasonable towards spiritual transformation.
In Rhizome St. / Fugue Avenue, romney searches for footing within a landscape of unreality, mistranslation, and disordered perception. Imbedded symbols, text, and talismans both direct and evade as the line between enlightenment and lunacy blur. In Explode, 2023, stars circle around a central figure’s disembodied head, recalling either a saintly halo or a loony toons signifier for dizziness, often in the aftershock of blunt force trauma. A pyramidal fleet of fighter jets soar outward from the figure’s chest towards the viewer through the hazy atmosphere of what appears to be the interior of an opera house, a reoccurring setting in the artist’s recent works. Completed in Amsterdam, the bottom of the canvas includes red and green lines mimicking a map of the city’s waterways. In AUTONOMY (RE)QUEST, 2023, romney depicts the same figure again, this time sitting towards a brilliant sunset or sunrise along the wing of a victorious cosmonaut. Instead of fighter jets, a flock of birds fly overhead and a translucent ampersand, almost undetectable, hovers in the center of the canvas. Victory’s torch is transformed into a spiraling staircase made up of a double helix, its flame becoming an emoji yellow figure, who climbs the stairs towards an illuminated Yin Yang. Together, the works within Rhizome St. / Fugue Avenue represent fragments of a fantasy world in which romney intentionally surrenders to the rough texture of life and searches for unity within the self, ultimately making a friend of impermanence.
mosie romney (b. 1994) lives and works between Ridgewood, Queens, and the Hudson Valley, New York. They received their BFA in Visual Art from SUNY Purchase in 2016 and have completed residencies with the Home School, Hudson, NY; Pocoapoco, Oaxaca City, MX; Painters Painting Paintings, Amsterdam, Netherlands; and Mahler & LeWitt Studios, Spoleto, Italy, among others. Their work is in the permanent collections of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL; Pond Society, Shanghai, China; the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY; and the Yuz Museum, Shanghai, China. romney’s work has been included in exhibitions at White Columns, New York, NY; Nicodim, Bucharest, RO, Los Angeles, CA, and New York, NY; Greene Naftali, New York, NY; Gern en Regalia, New York, NY; Almine Rech, London, UK, and New York, NY; Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York, NY; Fine Arts Center Gallery at University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR; and Luce Gallery, New York, NY. Their work has been featured in articles in BOMB Magazine, Hyperallergic, The Brooklyn Rail, and Juxtapoz, among others. Expanding upon Rhizome St. / Fugue Avenue, romney’s first large-scale exhibition with the gallery will open in September 2024.