A METHODOLOGY OF PICTURE MAKING

Growing up in rural Connecticut I was surrounded by the visual arts. My father's vocation as an illustrator and drawing instructor provided me with ample amounts of materials and learning resources. Illustration, cartooning, and narrative forms of picture-making were a constant preoccupation throughout my youth.

While attending the Pratt Institute in New York City I was exposed to contemporary painting and sculpture. This exposure greatly influenced my personal philosophy, methodology, and approach to picture-making. Over many years and out of necessity, I developed a visual language that allowed for the modulation of 2-dimensional space in order for images to evolve out of a cathartic process of drawing with paint.

This methodology allows for relationships to occur between imagery that does not always have a narrative relationship to other images in the composition. Subjective, non-narrative, or ambiguous imagery tends to invoke the viewer's imagination and provide a more profound experience compared to depicting a narrative subject or illustration.

I am attempting to create a visual story that implements vague and evocative imagery that will invite the viewer into the picture. My intention is to not always provide a clear or absolute meaning.

If the painting maintains an aesthetic structure that provides an intuitive path through the composition then the viewer will engage with the painting on a more personal level and bring their own interpretation and perspective to the work.

This is not freedom for the painter. The unclear or ambiguous imagery can not be implemented at the expense of cohesiveness and coherence in the composition. The painter’s effort should achieve a balance between ambiguity and clarity, using the former to spark the viewer’s imagination and the latter to provide aesthetic structure.

GROUP EXHIBITIONS 

2023 - " Visual Language & Catharsis" - Reeves Art & Design, Houston, TX

2020 - DUMPLING HOUSE GALLERY - Houston, TX

2012 - " Entangled Complexities" - GEORGETOWN ARTS & CULTURAL CENTER - Georgetown, CT

2012 - " CURRENTS" - The Edward Hopper House - Nyack, NY

2010 - "EKFRESES" - Lift Trucks Gallery -Croton Falls, NY

2009 - "From-the-Factory-Floor" - Lift Trucks Gallery -Croton Falls, NY

2005 - "Tri-State Juried Exhibition". Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, N.Y. 

2002 - "Prevailing Human Spirit, The 9/11 Exhibition". Society of Illustrators NYC. 

2001 - "Take Heart", MPI 49 West 23rd St. NYC. 

1999 - Aquent Partners "Digital Meets Traditional", Norwalk, CT. 

1991 - Gallery Sareido, 382 West Broadway, New York, NY. 

1983 - Small Walls Gallery, New York, NY. 

1981 - "9th Street Survival Show", New York, NY.

 

SOLO EXHIBITIONS 

2020 - THE DUMPLING HOUSE GALLERY - Houston, TX

2014 - THE DRIVE-BY GALLERY - Croton Falls, NY 

2014 - RUN MAN RUN - Lift Trucks Gallery - Croton Falls, NY

2003 - Salisbury Art Center, Salisbury, CT

1992 - McKensie & Company, Amenia, New York. 

1978 - Valsamos Gallery, Brooklyn, NY. 

 

ARTIST BIO

2018 - Establishes (Present) studio in Houston, Texas

2000 - Establishes studio in Ridgefield, Connecticut. 

1994 - Establishes studio in Purdy's, New York. 

1984 - Establishes and manages artists' studio in Jersey City, New Jersey.

1978 - BFA in Sculpture and Design from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York, Senior year mentorship with minimalist sculptor Carl Andre. 

1952 - Born, New Milford, Connecticut.

FOLLOW THE WORK OF TOBY ROSSER ON INSTAGRAM

With an almost violent onslaught of imagery in our daily lives it is the responsibility of the contemporary painter to create works that invoke emotion and meaning rather than rendering a narrative subject or illustration.

Subjective or ambiguous imagery invites a viewer into the picture because it does not attempt to provide a clear or absolute meaning. This encourages the viewer to engage with the painting on a more personal level and bring their own interpretation and perspective to the work.

This is not freedom for the painter. Unclear or ambiguous imagery can not be implemented at the expense of cohesiveness and coherence in the composition. The painter’s effort should achieve a balance between ambiguity and clarity, using the former to spark the viewer’s imagination and the latter to provide aesthetic structure.
---Toby Rosser

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