Exhibition archive

Minimal Mostly

R1 Studios

Minimal Mostly brought to Rochester work by world renown artists: Anni Albers, Josef Albers, Carmen Herrera, Ellsworth Kelly, Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin, and Frank Stella. These “Masters of Minimal” are artists who developed and formalized the concepts of minimal art. The exhibition featured objects in a variety of media – painting, print, sculpture and photo-based work, and examined the stylistic varieties within Minimalism as well as its continued influence on visual art today by younger artists committed to the practice.

Artists included Anni Albers, Josef Albers, Max Cole, Jose Dávila, Gabriel de la Mora, Spencer Finch, Carmen Herrera, Jennie C. Jones, Reuven Berman Kadim, Wyatt Kahn, Ellsworth Kelly, Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin, Amanda Means, Meghann Riepenhoff, Julia Rommel, Carmelle Safdie, Frank Stella, and Mika Tajima.

The exhibition included numerous public programs: a screening of Sol LeWitt; a screening of The 100 Years Show followed by a discussion led by Deborah Ronnen and Rachel Haidu, Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Rochester; a lecture on Minimalism given at the Memorial Art Gallery by Cathleen Chaffee, Senior Curator at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery; and an evening of Minimal poetry and music in collaboration with BOA Editions.

Read the full press release here.

Read the CITY review here.

Read the Democrat and Chronicle review here.


Deborah Ronnen Fine Art

Thought Patterns included new work focusing on various iterations of pattern. Both repetitive visual sequences as well as underlying patterns manifest themselves through imagery, process, concept, and title. The works both explore and reveal the artist's way of thinking. The exhibition includes new works on paper by Hernan Bas, Erica Baum, Sanford Biggers, McArthur Binion, Cecily Brown, Sam Gilliam, Julia Rommel, and Kiki Smith. Artists from this group live and work abroad and around the United States in cities including Chicago, Detroit, New York, and Washington, D.C.

An accompanying artist talk by Erica Baum was held at George Eastman Museum on May 26, 2016.

Read the exhibition review here.

Body and Soul

Deborah Ronnen Fine Art

The exhibition Body and Soul brought together a selection of works by international contemporary artists who have paid particular attention to both the visceral and spiritual permutations of “being.” Boston photographer Nicholas Nixon provided a micro view of intimacy and aging through pictures of himself and his wife, Bebe. A piece by British photographer and painter Christopher Bucklow used the pinhole camera technique to create a giant, shimmering silhouette of an acquaintance, capturing a suggestion of soul and inner light.

The exhibition included works by Christopher Bucklow (United Kingdom), Adam Fuss (United Kingdom), Jane Hammond (United States), Angelika Krinzinger (Austria), Marilyn Minter (United States), Jean-Luc Moulène (France), Vik Muniz (Brazil), Nicholas Nixon (United States), Georges Rouault (France), Michal Ronnen Safdie (Israel), Sarah Schorr (United States), Hank Willis Thomas (United States), William Wegman (United States), and Francesca Woodman (United States).


Summer Show

Deborah Ronnen Fine Art

With the advent of summer, most gardeners have color on the mind. Planning or editing a garden always involves considering the importance of color relationships. Whether thinking texture to texture or color to color, we especially want to move away from the grays of winter.

Our selection for this summer exhibit focused on artists who themselves celebrate color in their work. The Canadian-born Julia Dault uses a process-oriented approach to create her textured paintings, which often incorporate materials such as vinyl, mesh, and spandex. The kaleidoscopic result is the polar opposite of the nature studies by Anne Appleby, which are made over an extended observation period and result in poetic abstractions. For Japanese artist Mariko Mori, color is a spiritual matter. The drawings featured in this exhibit, made by Mori at dawn by the ocean in Okinawa, are reflections of her personal reverence for the natural world.

A celebration of color by contemporary artists included paintings, drawings, multimedia, photo-based work, and sculpture. Artists included Polly Apfelbaum, Anne Appleby, Sarah Cain, Sara Cwynar, Julia Dault, Corey Escoto, Aiko Hachisuka, Jane Hammond, Mariko Mori, Jackie Nickerson, Ludwig Sander, and Nontsikelelo Veleko.

Contemporary african american Printmakers

Presented by DRFA @ Nazareth College Arts Center

Contemporary African American Printmakers focused on thirteen living and renowned African American artists who include printmaking as a regular part of their practice. The show coincided with the Rochester premiere of Garth Fagan’s new work, Lighthouse/Lightning Rod, commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Alison Saar, the set designer for the new Fagan work, was represented by four prints. The works on view ranged from provocative to serene, and the concurrent showing of the theater piece and the gallery exhibit created a didactic conversation about the many mediums in which an artist might work.

Read the full press release here.

Cut...ting Edge: Mark Fox

Presented by DRFA @ Culver Road Armory

This installation-based solo exhibition featured mirrored cut-steel sculptures, works on paper, and Mark Fox’s signature large cut-paper sculptures. Fox created these constructions by meticulously cutting hundreds of intricate ink and watercolor drawings from their paper ground and using strips of linen tape to carefully rejoin the fragments into fragile, cloud-like abstractions. By juxtaposing fragments of varying subject matter, Fox encourages chance to enter into his methodical process in order to create new, non-linear narratives. Through this process, he aims to evoke the fragmented nature of both our thought processes and our daily lives. The series of two-dimensional works on paper explored the artist’s fascination with creating formal order out of random elements.

Read the full press release here.

See the opening night video here.

Orit Raff: Insatiable

Presented by DRFA @ Rochester Contemporary Art Center

In the project entitled Insatiable, Orit Raff combines large color photographs and videos made in bakeries here and in Israel, prompting us to consider bread not just as sustenance but as a metaphor for creation itself. In Hebrew, the etymological root of the words for bread (lehem) and war (millham) is the same: l-h-m. The video entitled Roundabout, a diptych, depicts the baking of bread paired with a sequence of Raff brutally tearing apart a small loaf of hard bread in her lap. A second video focusing on the linguistic aspects of the concept shows a tray of salt in which Raff draws Hebrew words that are all spelled using the same three letters (l, h, and m): war, bread, forgive, salt, and dream.

Read the exhibition review here.

alison saar

Presented by DRFA @ Rochester Contemporary Art Center

Alison Saar’s work looks like no one else’s. Sculpture made from wood, tin, tar, copper—all recycled materials that retain the power of their previous lives. The head of a woman wrapped in old tin ceiling panels, whose lighted gaze is fully inward; a life-size sculpture of a woman covered in tears . . . can we enter her space? 

Woodblock prints in which couples are cinched together by their hair or dangling together on a rope, signifying anything from kissing to hanging. These are the individuals who people Saar’s universe, yet they belong to us all.

Interestingly, Saar creates her prints as a way to reimagine the sculpture. Instead of the prints serving as a preliminary, she refers to them as “portraits of her sculpture.” Together the prints and sculpture become powerful totems. As she says: “I think of the material I work with as artifacts. They have spirit and wisdom.”

We were honored to include Saar’s maquette for Swing Low, the Harriet Tubman memorial sculpture commissioned by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

Read the exhibition review here.

picasso: linoleum cuts and vollard suite etchings

Deborah Ronnen Fine Art

Few artists have been as gifted as Picasso in his intense and uninhibited exploration of the medium of printmaking. He is often heralded as the greatest printmaker of the twentieth century, due in part to his commitment to printmaking, but also due to the imagination and creativity that he brought to the medium, reinventing the many types of printmaking that he touched. This intimate exhibit allowed guests to view his prints up close and unhurried, as they deserve to be seen.

The Vollard Suite prints (1933–1936) served as diary entries for the artist, who was concentrating on his sculpture and focused on his relationship to both the sculpture and the model. This presentation included excellent examples of the “Sculptor in His Studio” theme as well as the subject of the Minotaur.

Beginning in 1951 at the age of seventy, and for the next twenty years, Picasso created a remarkable body of linoleum cuts (a relief method of carving on a linoleum surface). Examples of these richly colored portraits provided excellent examples of the way he revolutionized this medium.

Remarkably, both the prints from the Vollard Suite and the linocuts were in pristine condition as they had each been conserved unframed and came from the original collectors, Vollard himself and Hidalgo Arnera, the very printmaker who taught Picasso the linocut technique. 

vik muniz

Deborah Ronnen Fine Art

Vik Muniz makes photographs that are not simply photographs. He calls them “photographic delusions.” To begin with, he is an uncanny draughtsman. Combine that with an unorthodox view of drawing materials and you have a new way of making art. For example, a photograph of a rendition of a painting by Monet entitled 9,000 Yards, the exact amount of thread that Muniz used to compose the “drawing,” which he then photographed.

The exhibit included works from several of his series, including Pictures of Ink, Pictures of Chocolate, and Pictures of Soil. Mr. Muniz joined guests for an opening night celebration and walk-through of the exhibit. He also spoke at George Eastman Museum.

art of the print

Presented by DRFA @ Albright-Knox Collectors Gallery

For more than fifty years, Universal Limited Art Editions (ULAE) has been dedicated to providing artists with the opportunity to produce exceptionally crafted works on paper. Artists such as Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg were introduced to printmaking at ULAE in the 1960s, and Johns continues to make new prints today. The exhibition showcased their work along with work by the next generation of artists, including Elizabeth Murray, James Siena, Kiki Smith, and many others.

Guest lectures by Deborah Ronnen and Bill Goldstein.


Presented by DRFA @ Visual Studies Workshop

Adam Fuss is a contemporary practitioner of one of the oldest forms of photographic image-making: the photogram, or camera-less photography. These visual echoes of the real world are made by placing an actual object on light-sensitive paper and exposing it to light.

Deborah Ronnen Fine Art and Visual Studies Workshop presented a survey exhibition of works by Adam Fuss that included the artist’s iconic images: spores, spirals, snakes, butterflies, and a christening gown.

In 1999, during an earlier exhibit of his work at Deborah Ronnen Fine Art, Fuss attended a daguerreotype workshop at George Eastman Museum and began to experiment with another antiquarian process, daguerreotypes. One of his most haunting images, a daguerreotype of a butterfly, was on view during the exhibition at Visual Studies Workshop.

robert motherwell

Presented by DRFA @ The Memorial Art Gallery

In 1981 Robert Motherwell (1915–1991) founded the Dedalus Foundation to foster public understanding of modern art in general and to serve as guardian of his art and archives.

In 1961 Motherwell began making original fine art prints. He worked with numerous print workshops in the United States and abroad. He was the only one of the original abstract expressionists to enthusiastically embrace printmaking. The prints in this exhibition came directly from the foundation and hence were in perfect condition.

Similar to his paintings, Motherwell experimented in his prints with a limited range of motifs and colors. The exhibit included several examples from his well-known Elegy series as well as examples of his dramatic use of color .