EMILY ROZ – Super Luster – April 20, 2024

Emily Roz
Super Luster

Auxiliary Projects is pleased to present Super Luster, a solo exhibition of paintings by Emily Roz. The exhibition will open on Saturday April 20, 2024, with an opening reception from 6-8pm.

For women, for artists, for painters, how does it exactly work; what does it mean to be your own muse? Who is the luster? 

Emily Roz stages intimate solo performances to capture her own image in photographs, then heads to the studio and leaves most of reality behind. Describing her at-home photo-sessions as more slapstick sexy than tableau vivant, Roz emphasizes the contortions required to look down and around at her own body as she tries to find a view and hold a pose. In her paintings, untethered figures hover above surfaces and dive through portals, often surrounded and intersected by Op Art stripes and patterns that cross the boundary of skin, complicating foreground and background. In “Shine,” 2024, a body is caught mid-curtain rise, levitating in space above a hammock of giant pearls. In “Drift,” a headless figure ascends through a glittering breach between golden clamshell shapes; the body’s surface is smooth, shiny and metallic, like a living Academy Award statuette. There are bulges and swells in these polished bodies, but the surface never ripples. And when there is no figure in a work, as in “Pearl Living Room,” 2023, pearls, shimmering fabric or gold coins stand in for the body’s prized shape and gleaming surface. 

Roz plays with tropes of display: curtains, stages, poses, lighting effects. Her background in fiber and a formative early-career job ironing tablecloths for a party rental company fed into a lifelong love of gold lamé and draping folds. Her postures and surfaces eschew contemporary naturalism in favor of a heightened self-consciousness of the history of women’s bodily exhibition. Roz’s alter egos recline in an environment subject to no rules but their own. 

And that chosen environment is razzle-dazzle, vinyl, and micron-deep glamor. Roz is openly, seductively complicit in the aesthetics of artifice: depth exists primarily as an aura for bodies and other shiny things. Drifting in cosmic voids, lustrous objects invite us to lust.