Amanda Ross-Ho, Photographic lighting technique illustration, source material for Amanda Ross-Ho's 2013 Plaza Project at the MCA Chicago. Courtesy and copyright David Brooks.

Amanda Ross-Ho, An Exhibition of the Tools of a Photographic Practice

Amanda Ross-Ho, Photographic lighting technique illustration, source material for Amanda Ross-Ho's 2013 Plaza Project at the MCA Chicago. Courtesy and copyright David Brooks.

 

Museum of Contemporary Art
220 E. Chicago Avenue
312-280-2660
Chicago
Amanda Ross-Ho, The Character and Shape of Illuminated Things
July 23-November 2013

Chicago-born, Los Angeles-based artist Amanda Ross-Ho premieres her first major public art project, The Character and Shape of Illuminated Things, on the plaza of Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Chicago this summer. Ross-Ho transforms the museum’s plaza into an open air photo studio, with larger-than-life still-life models that the public are invited to engage with and photograph. MCA Chicago Plaza Project: Amanda Ross-Ho is on view July 23 to November 2013, and is organized by MCA Curator Julie Rodrigues Widholm.

The title of the exhibition is adapted from a 1980 photography handbook, How to Control and Use Photographic Lighting. In the manual, the author illustrates how different lighting affects three still-life objects — a cube, a sphere, and a female mannequin’s head, all painted muted gray. Inspired by this fundamental lesson, Ross-Ho re-creates this trio of objects on a monolithic scale, faithful to the original image, with the mannequin head reaching 25-feet high.

Completing the installation is a large-scale sculptural rendering of a color calibration card — the color grid that is used to maintain accuracy in the printing and post-production of color photography. By including this card, Ross-Ho consciously disrupts the gray composition. The visual experience of this site-specific installation changes over the course of the day as it responds to the path of the sun —which is the evershifting light source for this enormous still life.

Ross-Ho creates her sculptures to be photographic subjects and invites viewers to photograph them and share the images through social media (twitter, instagram, #illuminatedthings). She wants to collect and share these images in an image archive and invites visitors to email her their photographs of the installation to illuminatedthings.mca @ gmail.com as a comment on the circulation and recycling of images.

She hopes this community project shows how the looping and sharing affects the production of aesthetic objects and access to them. With the accessibility of digital cameras and smart phones, Ross-Ho explores how such technologies shape our perception and reception of everyday encounters, and how the act of seeing today is mediated by such technologies.

This exhibition is part of the MCA’s ongoing commitment to extending art into the community and enlivening Chicago's landscape with contemporary art beyond the museum walls. Amanda Ross-Ho is the third artist to be chosen for the MCA Chicago's Plaza Project, which has previously featured work by Mark Handforth (2011) and Martin Creed (2012).

 

Amanda Ross-Ho, February 28, 2013, Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.

Amanda Ross-Ho, Frauds for an Inside Job, 2008, Excised studio walls, canvas dropcloths, acrylic paint, lightjet print, found images, artist's tape, gold plated chains, plastic gold chain, rags, cardboard boxes, bandannas, concrete, linen tape, cat scratcher door hanger, laser prints, single earrings, charcoal, broaches, thumbtacks, wicker basket, wood, Beijing Opera Mask, Biggie/Puff Daddy poster, plaster, plastic novelty balloons, graphite, ball point pen, cat toy, wine cork, plastic spraybottle, cat mouse, paintbrush, collar and rope leash. Dimensions variable, Courtesy of the Artist, Photo Credit: Robert Wedemeyer.

Amanda Ross-Ho's Methodical Navigation of Her Immediate Environment

Amanda Ross-Ho, The Whole Ball of String, 2012, Framed lightjet print, 39 x 30", Courtesy of the Artist.

Amanda Ross-Ho, Untitled Spatial Arrangement (Drying Rack), 2009, Drying rack, acrylic paint, rags, fabric dye, acrylic on canvas, wooden , clothespins, acrylic paint, gold plated chains, cat toys, aluminum clamp, cable tie, canvas drop cloth fragments, metal clamps, pair of rhinestone fashion earrings, plastic clips, three-ply acrylic yarn, 41X 30 X 15, Collection of Scott Londen, Photo credit: Robert Wedemeyer.

Amanda Ross-Ho, Composite, 2008, Light jet print face mounted on acrylic; reproduction of original
photograph by Peter Dean Rossi, wooden camera made by Ruyell Ho, 44 3/4 x 30 3/4"., Birmingham Museum of Art, Photo by Robert Wedemeyer.

 

Museum of Contemporary Art,
Los Angeles
Pacific Design Center
9687 Melrose Avenue
213-626-6222
Los Angeles
Amanda Ross-Ho: Teeny Tiny Woman
June 23-September 23, 2012

Amanda Ross-Ho is a leading Los Angeles artist of her generation. This new installation is her largest and most ambitious exhibition to date. Created for MOCA Pacific Design Center, Teeny Tiny Woman presents her ongoing engagement with translation, scale, and the authored collapse of authentic and performed gestures, combining large-scale paintings, fabricated objects, textiles, and photographs in a custom architectural environment. Multiple forms explore and advance her relationship with the metaphorical potential of photography.

"Amanda Ross-Ho has established a unique vocabulary of images and objects that gains momentum through complex iterations. This exhibition, and accompanying publication, offer a window into Ross-Ho’s language — past and present — with an eye toward the future,” said MOCA Associate Curator Rebecca Morse.

For almost a decade, Ross-Ho has engineered an elaborate set of conceptual and formal operations that guide her art-making practice. These methodical procedures allow her to navigate her immediate surroundings, namely the incessant fluctuation of popular and unpopular visual cultures and their direct points of connection to personal and universal truths. The result is a specific and consistently evolving personal language, with which Ross-Ho constructs carefully articulated poetic environments.

Ross-Ho’s work often originates from observations of her own movements within a designated space; she regularly investigates the studio itself as a fertile site for identifying potential in generative and reflexive processes. Although her process is rooted in immediacy and chance, it is executed with precise intentionality. Within this highly sensitized approach, authentically haphazard formal gestures are placed under careful scrutiny, and systematically choreographed in subsequent iterations. Ross-Ho’s work does not terminate in completed forms, but gains meaning through an exponential accumulation of contexts. Within the structure of each work is an embedded life cycle, mapping an organic trajectory that leads from conception through reception in its various aggregating forms.

AMANDA ROSS-HO: TEENY TINY WOMAN transforms the MOCA Pacific Design Center space via a massive looping architectural exchange. The exhibition includes 17 wall panels, collectively equivalent to the exact interior measurements of her downtown L.A. studio, which were built onsite in the exhibition space and then transferred to her studio space. For an extended time, they accumulated the genuine residue of production, acting as literal stages for a series of hyperbolic, choreographed maneuvers borrowed from daily studio activity. For the exhibition, the walls will be returned to the museum, creating an architectural lining on which to present a connective system of discreet works — paintings, objects, and textiles — compounded in an address of translation, scale, and nested opposition. Each wall, based on the proportions of a sheet of paper, acts as a museum-scale page on which to present a non-linear flux of data, taxonomical arrangements, and explicitly authored compositions.

The centerpiece of the exhibition is a fabricated sculpture based on a 1960s-model photo enlarger belonging to Ross-Ho’s father. A deeply personal artifact, as well as a once common apparatus in the production of pictures, the sculpture is the newest work in Ross-Ho’s ongoing series of fabricated objects, and functions as key to the logic of the surrounding elements in the show. The piece serves as a monument to a method of seeing through negotiations of positive and negative spaces, shifts in scale, and imaging through translation—maneuvers that have become signature concerns in Ross-Ho’s work. The retroactive gaze initiated by revisiting this vintage object defines the broad territory established within the exhibition. Ross-Ho engages a wide range of immediate and historical points of view, in a far-reaching examination of both the autobiographical and the public domains.

In part initiated by the notion of a ‘survey’ exhibition, Ross-Ho directly embraces the full gamut of her own creative history — from her earliest primal expressions through her recent sophisticated forms — tracing the evolution of her aesthetic language in a reinterpretation of the broad project of summarizing one’s "life’s work." Also included is the diptych UNTITLED ONE and UNTITLED TWO, a pair of large-scale paintings that are direct translations of works made by the artist at age four. By painstakingly and deliberately recreating intuitive marks made by her own hand 33 years prior, Ross-Ho investigates the potential of memory located in both experience and muscle, creating a looping connection between these new works and the deep origins of her art practice.

The exhibition is curated by MOCA Associate Curator Rebecca Morse and will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue. The most detailed appraisal of Ross-Ho’s oeuvre to date, the book includes an essay by Morse, an interview between Ross-Ho and MIT List Visual Arts Center Curator João Ribas, and an exhibition chronology assembled by MOCA Curatorial Assistant Jennifer Park.

Amanda Ross-Ho (b. 1975, Chicago) is a Los Angeles-based artist who received her MFA from University of Southern California in 2006 and BFA from Art Institute of Chicago in 1998. Ross-Ho’s work has been featured in three MOCA exhibitions, including George Herms: Xenophilia (Love of the Unknown) (2011), Artist’s Museum (2010), and Index: Conceptualism In California From The Permanent Collection (2008). Her work has been included in New Photography at Museum of Modern Art (2010); Image Transfer: Pictures in a Remix Culture at Henry Art Gallery (2010); and was the subject of a solo exhibition at Pomona College Museum of Art titled Amanda Ross-Ho: The Cheshire Cat Principle (2010). Her work was also included in the Whitney Biennial (2008) and the Orange County Biennial (2008). This is the artist’s first museum exhibition accompanied by a catalogue.

Amanda Ross-Ho, SKIES THE LIMIT (LEAVE ME ALONE), 1998-2009, Hand painted, rainbow tie-dyed T-shirt, acrylic, graphite and oil, pastel on canvas, 96 x 75", Private collection.

Amanda Ross-Ho, Frauds for an Inside Job, 2008, Excised studio walls, canvas dropcloths, acrylic paint, lightjet, print, found images, artist's tape, gold plated chains, plastic gold chain, rags, cardboard boxes, bandannas, concrete, linen tape, cat scratcher door hanger, laser prints, single earrings, charcoal, broaches, thumbtacks, wicker basket, wood, Beijing Opera Mask, Biggie/Puff Daddy poster, plaster, plastic novelty balloons, graphite, ball point pen, cat toy, wine cork, plastic spraybottle, cat mouse, paintbrush, collar and rope leash. Dimensions variable, Courtesy of the Artist, Photo Credit: Robert Wedemeyer.

Amanda Ross-Ho, Untitled Proximity Collage (britney_pussy_2), 2008, Xerox, acrylic, pencil and tempera on paper, 22 x 30".

Images and Identities Recontextualized, Intervened, and All in the Family

Amanda Ross-Ho, Untitled Proximity Collage (Swatches), 2008, Newspaper, paper, Post-it, spray paint on paper, 22 x 30".

Amanda Ross-Ho, Black Widow #10, 2007, Acrylic on cut canvas, Approximately 84" diameter.

 

Cherry and Martin
12611 Venice Boulevard
310-398-7404
Los Angeles
Amanda Ross-Ho,
Half of What I Say is Meaningless
September 20-November 1, 2008

Demonstrating an ongoing interest in locating understanding through inversion, Amanda Ross-Ho recontextualizes images and objects with intimate — rather than generic — origins. Ross-Ho’s mediation suggests a possible universality of the personal. Her objects display individual qualities and "sibling" identities, playing on traits of familial exchange and proximal relativity.

This structural examination of totalities and their constituent fragments — particularly viewed as kindred — is amplified by the presence of several works with family roots. These include photographs produced by an uncle of Ross-Ho’s who works as a commercial photographer; informal greeting card collages made by an innovative aunt; still life photos created by her artist father; and a custom quilt sewn by another aunt for the exhibition specifically at Ross-Ho's direction.

The show also examines the mechanics of production and presentation by tapping into the personal history Ross-Ho has established through previous exhibitions in Cherry and Martin’s gallery space. Aspects of the exhibition quote her earlier presentations in the space, directly appropriate themselves, and/or perform intentional redundancies of image or form. This approach aims to fracture the singularity of primary viewership and establish more holistic relationships between direct experience and memory, creativity and presentation, object and representation.

Amanda Ross-Ho received her MFA from the University of Southern California in 2006. Her work has been seen in such recent exhibitions as the 2008 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York); Nina in Position at Artists Space (New York); Depositions at Galerie Francesca Pia (Zurich); and Post-Rose at Galerie Christian Nagel (Berlin). Upcoming exhibitions include the 2008 California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art (Newport Beach); the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center (Atlanta); Mitchell-Innes and Nash (New York) and the Approach (London).

Amanda Ross-Ho, defacedbook, MARCH 1991, …As a teenager I was an avid journal keeper. It was an activity I occupied myself with primarily while cutting class — I think I thought I was leading myself in some sort of alternative curriculum. I compiled the following list over the course of several days in March of 1991.

Amanda Ross-Ho, Untitled Proximity Collage (Truth), 2008, Xeroxes, paper, graphite, acrylic on paper, 22 x 30".