Leah Rosenberg: To Open Eyes

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LEAH ROSENBERG: To Open Eyes 13 December 2019 to 31 January 2020

HODGES TAYLOR info@hodgestaylor.com hodgestaylor.com

Installation images by Lydia Bittner-Baird.


A devoted “color collector”, Leah Rosenberg’s use of painting creates a dialogue between viewer and artist, time and place. While many of Rosenberg’s prior projects involve public engagement or site-specific installation, the work presented at Hodges Taylor—spanning drawings, sculptures, and prints—stems from the artist’s instinct to return to a solitary studio practice, influenced by color theorist, teacher, and artist, Josef Albers (1888-1976). Through a residency in Tuscany, Italy, in 2019 Rosenberg set out to create a practice predicated on ritual and discipline. By following a predetermined plan, the works on paper and cultural objects speak to the process of making as a way to stop, and start to see from a different perspective. As such they enact Albers’ fundamental lesson: to teach his students to see beyond; to see what is overlooked; and to open their eyes in order to see the things we encounter in our everyday environment with new significance. While offering a refreshing commentary on recording through color and repetitive mark-making, the works on view form a record of the artist’s self-directed process, like journal entries, on her meditative journey. Rosenberg, like the ever-influential Albers, encourages us to slow down, unplug, open up, and trust the process more than the end result.


“Each day, while in residence in Italy, I colored in a sheet of paper with a single colored pencil. My process of color collecting is typically quite deliberate; going out into the landscape, with the intention of gathering colors of landmarks I encounter. The colors vary depending on time of day, the season, architecture, light, and conversations overheard. I had a system, but felt beholden to it. My time in Italy was a break from the norm, so I used it as an opportunity to approach my color collecting in a different way. I wanted more poetry to the process, to meander and happen upon the color. I worried less about an audience and thought more about my own intuition around color. I turn to it like some people might go to church. I filled the pages following a set of simple principles. The breaks in the drawings, like a wall with missing bricks, mark the moment when the pencil is sharpened. I saved the pencil stumps and shavings; a glimpse into the process. I worked horizontally left to right, then right to left, like a farmer planting her rows. Standing at a table, looking out the open window of my studio to the olive trees, my pencil markings in time with an incessant cicada song. I listened to Italian conversation as much as I could, thinking it could work its way into the titles. What resulted was Another Language.� Leah Rosenberg

PICTURED ON PAGES 8 to 25: LEAH ROSENBERG, Another Language, 2019, colored pencil on Italian paper, 19.5 x 27.5 inches each unframed, $1500 each framed.

Nocciola – Hazel brown

Blu oltremare – Ultramarine

Pesca (colore e frutta) – Peach (color and fruit)

Sei come il prezzemolo – You are like parsley (meaning that a person is everywhere)

Campi coperti di papaveri – Fields thick with poppies

Girasole – Sun-turner (sunflower)

Rosso di sera bel tempo si spera – Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight

Avere l’argento vivo addosso – To have mercury, that is silver that moves/ divides at the slightest touch

Verde Veronese – Paolo Veronese Green

Lime giallo - Yellow lime

Fiore di zucca raccolto al mattino presto – Squash blossom picked in early morning

Arrossire – To turn pink

Terra di Siena – Sienna

Verde acqua – Turquoise green

Non fare un cavolo per colazione – To not do a cabbage, to not do a thing

Fucsia (colori e fiore) – Fuchsia (color and flower)

Tra il dire e il fare c‘è di mezzo il mare – Between saying and doing is the sea

Olio d’oliva, sempre – Olive oil, always

Il profondo blu, la notte – The deepest blue, the night

Non avere sale in zucca – To not have salt in the pumpkin (to not be very bright)

E tutto rose e fiori – Everything is roses and flowers

Avere una fifa blu – To be in a blue funk

Mettere nero su bianco – To put into writing

Celeste – Italian Sky Blue (Bianchi Green)

Rosso corsa – Racing red

Il Giallo Mondadori – Mondadori Yellow (a series of crime-mystery pulp novels with yellow covers)

Grigio azzurro – Grey-blue, most often used to indicate the colour of eyes (SOLD)

Essere alla frutta – To be at one’s limit (or the fruit at the end of a meal)

“Un piccolo gelato all’albicocca, per favore” – “One small apricot gelato, please”

Numero verde – Toll-free number

Verde fosforescente – Phosphorescent green

Cronaca rosa – Pink news (gossip column) (SOLD)

Una giornata grigia – A gray day, a difficult day (SOLD)

Rosa Shocking (Grazie Elsa Schiaparelli!) – Hot pink (Thank you Elsa Schiaparelli!) (SOLD)

Azzurino – Pale light blue

Marrone rossiccio campi di grano – Wheatfields, golden brown

WINDOW BOX SERIES The artist created this series of objects with the idea that they could be kept at your front door or on your desk. Functioning as both container (for your phone while it is charging, so you don’t have to look at it) and pedestal (for something of meaning collected from your day out in the world...a flower, a seashell, a note). The hope is that when you go to retrieve your phone from the box, you are reminded of the meaningful moment. A simple gesture to pivot your attention in an effort to improve your day in a small way. The dimensions of the boxes are in reference to the negative spaces in the series of Another Language drawings. The breaks in the marks made on the boxes are moments when the artist was interrupted, by her own distractions and incoming notifications, which are recorded on the Certificate of Color accompanying each of the twenty eight boxes in the series.

LEAH ROSENBERG Window Boxes, 2019 colored pencil on birch 8.5 x 4.25 x 7.25 inches each $500 each

PROGRESSIVE INSTALLATION A progressive installation was created in the interior gallery at Hodges Taylor over seven days using colors inspired by the central Italian landscape, where the series Another Language was created. Each day, the artist selected a color pulled from the palette she encountered, leaving behind a section of the previous day’s hues. The artist painted a new layer of color on the walls and furniture (adding an object to the desk surface, suggesting the presence of the artist and evidence of work having been done) every day before leaving, one on top of the last, arriving the next day to a freshly painted studio. Over the course of a week, a site-specific low-relief mural took shape and created a space for a pair of stripe paintings titled One Week Painting (Inside) and One Week Painting (Outside), as well as a set of seven Walking Sticks.

LEAH ROSENBERG, One Week Painting (Inside), 2019, latex on wood panel, 48 x 60 inches, $5000. LEAH ROSENBERG, One Week Painting (Outside), 2019, latex on wood panel, 48 x 60 inches, $5000.

LEAH ROSENBERG, Walking Sticks, 2019, latex on wood dowel, 72 x 1.25 inches each, $500 each.


Based in San Francisco, Leah Rosenberg’s art spans painting, installation, sculpture, printmaking, and food, while focusing on the role of color in our lives and its emotional or psychological impact. Her work has been presented in solo and two-person exhibitions nationally and internationally. Past residencies include Recology in San Francisco, Vermont Studio Center, Project 387, Facebook Inc, Google, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, and McColl Center for Art & Innovation in Charlotte, NC, where she debuted Color for the People, her site-specific installation exploring color and flavor. Her commissioned mural, Everywhere a Color, which is permanently installed in the International Terminal of San Francisco Airport and her book, The Color Collector’s Handbook (Chronicle Books, 2018), invite people from all over the world to connect through color. Leah worked as Creative Director for Color Factory in San Francisco and New York City. Rosenberg received a BFA from Emily Carr Institute in Vancouver, BC (2003) and an MFA from California College of the Arts in San Francisco, CA (2008).

CV EDUCATION 2008 2003 2002

MFA, California College of Art, San Francisco, CA BFA, Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Vancouver, BC New York Studio Program, Independent Studio, ACAID, New York, NY

COLLECTIONS SFMOMA Google, Mountain View, CA San Francisco Arts Commission UT Southwestern, Dallas, TX Facebook Menlo Park McColl Center for the Arts, North Carolina Kala Arts Center, Berkeley, CA College Art Gallery, University of Saskatchewan PUBLIC + PRIVATE COMMISSIONS Sarasota Art Museum, Sarasota, FL Everywhere A Color, San Francisco International Terminal 3, San Francisco, CA Color Collector’s Handbook, Chronicle Books Color Factory, San Francisco, CA/New York, NY Sites Unseen Natoma Alley, San Francisco, CA Facebook Building 57, Menlo Park, CA Rite Editions, San Francisco, CA Private Residence, Santa Cruz, CA The Progress, San Francisco, CA Private Residence, Breakfast Nook, San Francisco, CA The Pink Container, Hamburg, Germany M-Rad Architecture, Los Angeles, CA Pinhole Coffee, San Francisco, CA State Bird Provisions, San Francisco, CA Marriott Marquis Hotel, San Francisco, CA UCSF Moffitt Hospital Café Mural, San Francisco, CA SOLO + TWO PERSON EXHIBITIONS 2019 To Open Eyes, Hodges Taylor, Charlotte, NC Chance of Rain, Legion Shop, San Francisco, CA What Goes Around, Recology, San Francisco, CA 2018 The Measure of Enjoyment, Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CA 2017 Color For The People, McColl Center for Art + Innovation, Charlotte, NC 2016 Mono/Chromatic, Kenderdine Art Gallery, Saskatoon, SK This, That, and Hours in the Sun, Legion, San Francisco, CA Color and Scale, Black & White Projects, San Francisco, CA

2015 Where Once Was None, 2x2 Solo Series, Pro Arts, Oakland, CA Well Together, The Mill, San Francisco, CA 2014 Pairings, Galleri Urbane, Dallas, TX 2012 Fresh Paint, True Silver Gallery, San Francisco, CA I Made This For You, Make Work Projects, Saskatoon, SK Six of One, Rare Device, San Francisco, CA Taking Stock (with Emily Heller), Z Space Gallery, San Francisco, CA 2011 Stripes, San Francisco Friends School, San Francisco, CA 2010 Some Days Honey, Some Days Onions: Fine Museum, San Francisco, CA The Magic Hour, Spare Room Projects, San Francisco, CA Time Will Tell, 18 Reasons, San Francisco, CA 2008 About Rounds, Tartine, San Francisco, CA 2007 Sweet Raw (with Siobhan Humston, Jacana Gallery, Vancouver, BC Plus+ (with George Vergette), Bjornson Kajiwara Gallery, Vancouver, BC SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS 2019 To Freeze the Shifting Phantasmagoria, Jacki Headley Gallery, Chico, CA 2017 Sabbath: Dorothy Saxe Invitational, Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco, CA Group Hang, the Lab, San Francisco, CA Detritus, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose, CA Embracing Imperfection, Napa Valley Museum, Napa Valley, CA 2016 Appro-propagation, Kala Fellow Exhibition, Berkeley, CA Spectrum, Sarasota Art Center, Sarasota, FL Gold Rush, de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara, CA Conversations in Paint, Art Placement Gallery, Saskatoon, SK 2015 Orange on Orange, Peephole Cinema, Orange Alley, San Francisco, CA On & On: Modular Prints, Aesthetic Union, San Francisco, CA Painting Expelled, CCA Campus Center Galleries, San Francisco, CA Possibilities of Paper, Montalvo Arts Center, Saratoga, CA 2014 Bay Area Now 7, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA Collections, Nile Sunset Annex, Cairo, Egypt 2013 FEAST, New Children’s Museum, San Diego, CA Art Moves Billboard Festival, Toron, Poland Voulkos Inspired, Kala’s Berkeley Central Arts Passage Way, Berkeley, CA Happiness Is... Montalvo Arts Center, Saratoga, CA Cheerful and Heroic Failure, Southwestern College, San Diego, CA 2012 X-Libris, Root Division, San Francisco, CA Keeping Time, Kala Gallery, Berkeley, CA (curated by Lauren Davies) Cultivar/Taste, Root Division, San Francisco, CA 2011 PROOF, SOEX Juried Exhibition, Southern Exposure, San Francisco, CA Surface Tension, Kuhn Fine Arts Gallery, Ohio State University With Food in Mind, Center for the Book Arts, New York, NY New Works, Art Placement Gallery, Saskatoon, SK Chunks, Skydive Gallery, Houston, TX (curated by Sasha Dela) 2010 Shadowshop, a project by Stephanie Syjuco at SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA

I’m Sure, blankspace gallery, Oakland, CA (curated by Courtney Dailey) 2009 Headlands Center for the Arts 2009 Benefit Auction, San Francisco, CA Mixed Metaphors, Michael Rosenthal Gallery, San Francisco, CA About Food, Made From Food, Including Food, Pittsburg State University, KS Sweet and Matchless, PLAySPACE, San Francisco, CA Let Them Eat Cake, Gallery Atsui, Vancouver, BC Blot out the Sun, Sam Lee Gallery, Los Angeles, CA 2008 Spectrum Art Auction, Mezzanine, San Francisco, CA Destinations: London, Working Rooms; Berlin, The Berlin Office; SF, QNA Painting on the Edge, Federation Gallery, Vancouver, BC Vital Signs, Newcomb Art Gallery, New Orleans, LA 30 Under 30, Varnish Fine Art Gallery, San Francisco, CA MFA Thesis Exhibition, California College of Art, San Francisco, CA RESIDENCIES, 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2013-2015 2011-2014 2012 2010 2008

AWARDS + LECTURES TedX Dare To Know, Herbst Theatre, San Francisco, CA Why Paint, Panel Discussion, Chico State University, Chico, CA Artist-in-Residence, Villa Lena, Toiano, Italy Creative Mornings Talk, Tradition, SFMOMA, SF, CA Artist-in-Residence, Recology, San Francisco, CA Agility Projects Grant, Berkeley, CA McColl Center of Art + Innovation Fellowship, Charlotte, NC Artist-in-Residence, Project 387, Gualala, CA Finalist, TOSA Award, San Francisco, CA Artist-in-Residence, Workshop Residence Kala Fellowship, Kala Art Institute, Berkeley, CA Future of Food Residency, Bemis Center for Art, Omaha, NE Irving Street Projects, San Francisco, CA Taste Workshop at the Front, San Francisco, CA Vermont Studio Center Fellowship, Johnson, VT LPP + Residency, San Francisco, CA Lucas Artist Program Irvine Fellow, Montalvo Arts, Saratoga, CA Visiting Artist Lecture, Mills College, Oakland, CA Visiting Artist Lecture, California College of Art, Oakland, CA New American Paintings, No. 109 Pacific Coast, Juror: Janet Bishop Big Eats, Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco, CA Nominee, Tournesol Award, Headlands Center for Arts, Sausalito, CA, California College of the Arts Graduate Commencement Speaker Recipient, California College of the Arts Merit Scholarship Recipient Richard K. Price Scholarship

SELECT PRESS Cote, Grace. “Color as a ritual Alumna Artist Leah Rosenberg,” McColl Center for Art + Innovation Blog, 2019 Wise, Cat. “This San Francisco Art Exhibit Takes Another Look At Trash,” PBS, 2019 Desmerais, Charles. “Finding art at the dump: Recology Artist in Residence Program highlights treasured trash,” SF Chronicle Datebook, 2019

Chong, Dale Arden. “Discovering True Color,” DRIFT Volume 7 San Francisco, 2018 Woo Jen. “Leah Rosenberg Paints the Town (and Beyond) Rainbow,” 7x7, 2017 Whiting, Sam. “SoMa alley goes from ‘unseen’ to art scene,” SFChronicle, 2017 Clapson, Dan. “Sweet Art,” Globe and Mail Arts Section, October 2016 McKay, Stephanie. “Colour Story,” Saskatoon StarPhoenix, September 2016 Farr, Kristin. “Palettes For All Palates,” Juxtapoz, June 2016 Lutz, Leora. “When Walks Become Stories, Become Paintings…” SFAQ.us, February 2016 Smith, Kara Q. “Where Once Was None,” 2 x 2 solo catalog essay, November 2015 Haug, Kate. “Everyday, a color: Leah Rosenberg @ Irving Street Projects,” SFAQ.us, May 2015 Hotchkiss, Sarah. “Obsessed: Leah Rosenberg’s Chromophilia,” KQED, April 2015 Delaunay, Monique. “Leah Rosenberg: COLOR BAR Artist in Residence at Paper Planes,” SF ART Enthusiast, June 2014 Bishop, Janet. “Juror’s Pick,” New American Paintings, No. 109. December 2013 Bauer, Kristin. “Lynda Benglis And 6 Contemporary Artists Sculpt with Paint,” Beautiful Decay, November 2013 de la Hoz, Ryan. “Leah Rosenberg’s Stacks of Paint,” Beautiful Decay, March 2013 Helfand, Glen. “From Saratoga: Happiness Is,” Art Practical, February 2013 Marchand, Matthew. “Shotgun Review: Fresh Paint,” Art Practical, May 2012 Whiting, Sam. “Home galleries picking up where museums leave off,” SF Chronicle, July 2012 Porges, Maria. “Present Tense,” (essay) May 2012 Glance: CCA, Spring 2012 Park, Sabrina. “Featured Artist,” bangstyle.com, May 2012 Delaunay, Monique. “Rare Device: Six of One,” SF Art Enthusiast, January 2012 Grattan, Nikki and Klea McKenna. “InThe Make,” April 2012 COLOR & COLOR #3: a publication by Amanda Curreri & Erik Scollon, 2011 Studio Visit Magazine, National Juried Exhibition in Print, Issue 7 Ruby Mag the book, Gestalten Verlag (catalogue), 2011 Greenaway, Twilight. “Cooking, Giving It Away: Food, Art, and the Places In,” Art Practical, Issue 2.5, November 2010 Gilsdorf, Bean. “18 Reasons: A Conversation with Rosie Branson Gill & Leah Rosenberg,” Art Practical, Issue 2.5, November 2010 Dailey, Courtney. “The Circularity of Stripes,” Catalog essay for Time Will Tell at 18 Reasons “Carte Blanche II: Painting,” Magenta Foundation, 2008 Porges, Maria. Blot out the Sun catalogue, 2008 EDITIONS, MULTIPLES + COLLABORATIONS Get Out of My Head, written by Meredith Arthur with Running Press, 2020 The Color Collector’s Handbook, published with Chronicle Books, 2018 Hue Haikus, with Erin Jang for 826 Tenderloin and 826 NYC, 2017-2018 The Good In The World for Rite Editions, LA Art Book Fair, SF Art Book Fair, 2017-2018 Protestcakes with Tess Wilson, 2017-2018 Kadist Kocktails, cocktail performances, 2010-2015 Spirit Phenomena at Root Division for TASTE with Lisa Mishima and Yvonne Mouser, 2016 An Artist’s Palette/Palate for 2016 with Imin Yeh for Southern Exposure, SF, 2016 Jews For Dim Sum with Imin Yeh at Contemporary Jewish Museum SF, 2016 Miracle Pairings with Sita Bhamuk + Imin Yeh, Montalvo Arts Center, 2017 Color | Cootie | Feeling | Catcher with Christine Wong Yap for Ways & Means, 2016 Everyday Confetti Calendar with Solstice Press, 2015-ongoing The Color Collection, Spring allocation with La Foret Chocolate Napa, Spring 2015 Modern Art Desserts, Lead Pastry Chef, Blue Bottle Coffee Rooftop Cafe at SFMOMA, 2009-2013