Russell Crotty arrived at Aurobora Press to begin a new trajectory in his work. Noted for his drawn globes and astronomical depictions of the sky that the artist first began in 1999, Crotty migrated towards imagery directly associated with field guide studies of boulders and open panoramic vistas.
In the boulder suite, Crotty maps routes he has climbed on various rock formations. Each composition holds a biomorphic shape that retains a washed, brush stroke quality with solid color lines that mark a climber’s route. The simplicity in these compositions underscores the abstraction. Field guide descriptions – buckets, cavities, slopper, friction-grip—find there way scrawled in the artist’s hand into his large composition, reminding the viewer of the esoteric nomenclature used by scramblers and climbers.
In addition to the boulder images from his field guide suite, Crotty created works depicting panoramic, landscape vistas — outlined with yucca plants, housing developments, rolling hills denuded of flora – that emerge in long narrow bands from the lower portion of the paper. Within some of these panoramas, Crotty scratches out text (similar to the text in his earlier globe drawings) which embellishes the compositions and ties them contextually to his other work.
During his return visit to Aurobora, Crotty focused on a collection of driftwood culled over the years from hidden surf spots and lake shores. Titled Specimens, Crotty drew the individual shapes of wood on mylar and then used these as stencils to print images directly on the paper. In addition, Crotty used the same techniques to create large, narrow panoramic landscapes (15” x 83.5”) of both lake and seascapes where his specimens were found. Russell Crotty has created a suite of monotypes that capture the essence of a Northern California that is slowly vanishing.
Centre Georges Pompidou; Musee National D’Art Moderne, Paris; Valencia Arte Contemporaneo e Inversion, S.L. Valencia, Spain; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; New York Public Library, New York, NY; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Achenbach Foundation, San Francisco Fine Arts Museum , CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL; Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ; The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA; Laguna Art Museum, Laguna, CA; ASU Nelson Fine Arts Center, Tempe, AZ; Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR; Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA; Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, NY; The Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Ballycastle, County Mayo, Ireland