Fergus McCaffrey is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Sally Ross, her first with the gallery, as well as the first in the United States since her decisive break with representation in 2012. The eight works on view in Materials and Procedures, all dating from the past year, have been cut, collaged, sewn, and pieced together—an “abstraction interrupted.” Map-like and at times suggestive of mosaics, her paintings are improvised and organized in equal measure, retaining traces of the artist’s experimental, chance-driven process. Painting and its history, of which Ross is well aware, is not her subject in the sense of a direct quotation and translation. As with those figures who came before who questioned what else a painting could be, Ross’ expansive sculptural image-object combines tease the confluence of art and life and embrace discovery through accident.
Over the course of the past five years, spent mostly in the studio, not knowing what might occur from one day to another, Ross began to investigate her work's making. Her process arrived, as her paintings do, piece by piece, through addition and subtraction. She intuitively composes on the studio floor with scraps of canvas, pieces of discarded clothing, household material, webbing from chairs, part of a shower curtain—things found on her way to the studio and whatever is at hand. The paintings are loosely stitched with fragments coming together as Ross orchestrates parts into the whole, from side-to-side and top-to-bottom. As she assesses what is necessary to drive the image forward, armatures occasionally find their way into the canvases causing protrusions and prompting sculptural form.