Michael Rouillard Scribbles His Way to the Monochrome

THE DAILY PIC: At Pablo's Birthday Gallery, Rouillard crosses out emptiness.

THE DAILY PIC (#1774): This is a tight closeup on the edge of one of the drawings in Michael Rouillard’s “100 Pages” show at Pablo’s Birthday Gallery in New York. It gives a better hint at what Rouillard is up to than a more complete view would do: You can see that his entire sheet (like all the others in the installation view below) has been covered with ink from the ballpoint pens that Rouillard has used to scribble it totally black.

Rouillard manages an interesting tension with the established traditions of the monochrome. He takes a genre that is usually about removing every trace of the artist’s hand and makes works in it that couldn’t be more completely about a hand’s scribblings. He also takes a genre that is usually read as being about some kind of plenitude, even sublimity (think Ad Reinhardt and Yves Klein) and makes works in it that are all about the emptiness of crossing-out.

Where Rauschenberg erased a notable something, Rouillard scratches out nothingness. (Photos by Lucy Hogg.)

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