Gary Rough: Rabo Karabekian

  • New York
  • October 4 - December 15, 2007
  • Photograph 1 from Gary Rough: Rabo Karabekian exhibition.
  • Photograph 2 from Gary Rough: Rabo Karabekian exhibition.

"karabekian ... : 11. (from Rabo Karabekian, U.S. 2d" century painter). Fiasco in which a person causeds total destruction of his own work and reputation through stupidity, carelessness or both." [Kurt Vonnegut. Bluebeard. New York: Dial Press, 2006/1987; 286.]

In 1999, Gary Rough (Scottish, b. 1972) wrote to Kurt Vonnegut and began a correspondence that lasted until Vonnegut's death this year on April L Ith and culminated in a 'new' body of work: the (re)creation of the destroyed works of the fictional Abstract Expressionist painler Rabo Karabekian, ancl !'lrotagonist of Vonnegut's Bluebeard and Breakfast of Champions. The resultant series of paintings and works on paper are on view at McCaffrey Fine Art through December J 51h, 2007.

Vonnegut, via Karabekian, satirically explored the stereotypes of Abstract Expressionism and the battle line between abstraction and representation. Like Vonnegut, Rough seemingly pokes at the reign of Abstract Expressionism in the canon of American art, and its claim to be self-referential.