Sandy Rosen

Toni Birckhead Gallery

Visitors to Cincinnati artist Sandy Rosen’s most recent show were invited to take off their shoes and enter the living room, dining room, bedroom, and sitting room of the apartment she had created in the gallery. But to do so seemed almost a violation of some kind. The rooms already seemed intensely inhabited, though only vestiges of their residents were strewn throughout the spaces. It was like wandering through the second story of a near-stranger’s house, in search of a bathroom at a party—your eyes fall on cluttered dressing tables or bookshelves and you turn away in embarrassment, before looking again with the enthusiasm of a true voyeur.

This feeling persisted in Rosen’s newest rooms, despite the fact that these dazzling, mesmerizing, somewhat sordid interiors are obviously art. They are big, environmental, representational (novelistic even) pattern paintings. Yes, paintings, because

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