Rough was born in Glasgow in 1972 and holds a BA and an MFA from the Glasgow School of Art. He attended the Hochschule der Kunst, Berlin, in 1996 and later moved to New York City, where he currently lives and works.
Rough’s approach is multifaceted. He has employed a variety of media, including drawing, painting, video, neon, even old T-shirts, but text (in one form or another) is most often his focus. His works have been poetically characterized as addressing “in-between” spaces—and, in fact, Rough operates in an in-between dual identity in his recent Rabo Karabekian series, in which he (re)creates the destroyed works of a once-famous fictional Abstract Expressionist painter, created by Kurt Vonnegut. This conceptual underpinning of these large-scale abstract paintings creates an enormously resonant subtext addressing a host of questions that go to the heart of the nature of the authorship, identity, and creativity itself.
Rough’s recent solo exhibitions include: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc. . . .,Sorcha Dallas, Glasgow, 2011; I Want to Tell You, Number 35, New York, 2009; Nothing Is Enough, Yvon Lambert, Paris, 2008; The Crisis of Confidence, Sleeper, Edinburgh, 2007; Take Me With You, Sorcha Dallas, Glasgow, 2006; Who Is Everything, P.S. 1, New York, 2004; and Skies of Blue, University of Brighton, Brighton, 2004.
Artsy Editorial by Anna Louie SussmanSeeing the retrospective in Paris convinced McCaffrey, the longtime collector and gallerist, that he needed to bring her (Carol Rama) work to the U.S. market. He mounted a show of nearly 50 works from between 1938 and 1945 in September 2016. “Unless you have recognition in the U.S., you don’t really have a market,” he says. “We showed Ramas this time last year in Basel and Americans had no awareness.” This year, his booth at Art Basel in Basel placed Rama alongside the Gutai artist Kazuo Shiraga, as both artists’ work addressed life under totalitarianism by seeking to liberate the body and its functions. Read More
The Art Newspaper by Matthew WilcoxCrucial in Gutai’s sudden boom, in McCaffrey’s view, was the fact that the group had essentially been ignored in the US since the 1950s. “Look at the market for Italian post-war work, or back to the late 1980s, when the German Neo-Expressionists started to make an impact in the US. There are these discrepancies in information and knowledge that pop up.” Read More