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Excavating Memories :: ROSSON CROW

The Musee Regional D’Art Contemporain Languedoc-Rousillon is situated in the coastal town of Serignan in southern France, where residents ride their horses through the streets and eat moules frites under a canopy of trees in the town square. It might seem, at first glance, a strange place for the largest exhibition ever dedicated to Los Angeles artist Rosson Crow, who is a staple of that city’s art scene, and known for her memorable clothes—like the couture Budweiser gown she wore to the opening—and bright smile.

But like the town of Serignan, which was built in the 12th century, Crow’s work is steeped in history. “Most of my work comes out of the love of history and researching historical places and events,” Rosson told me when I interviewed her at her home last year. “I’m very interested in how time changes the way we view these events, and how histories get layered onto one another.”

Crow reinterprets these histories in large-format paintings, which feature vanishing lines, dripping chandeliers, and evanescent flags. “Most of her paintings look like Hollywood film sets, historical recreations or abandoned places, with atmospheres that are at times disconcerting,” the museum described. “Her theatrical settings enable memories to be retrieved.”

The exhibition assembles 25 paintings culled from private collections as well as unseen work. There are also several paintings inspired by her 2006 trip to France, during which time she visited Versailles, Fontainebleu and the chateaux in the Loire Valley, and reinterpreted what she saw in grand pieces such as “Rococo Rodeo” and “Equestrian Show.” “I enjoy the process of excavating that history,” Crow told me,” and finding the hidden spirits beneath.”

The exhibition is on view at the Musee Regional D’Art Contemporain Languedoc-Rousillon through November 2.