Sam Roussi

Fay Gold Gallery

Sam Roussi’s recent work makes no reference to French post-Structuralist theory, but he shares with Jacques Derrida a fascination with marks that remain opaque and writing that refuses to coalesce into a single meaning. The simple loops and jagged lines that characterize paintings like Rough Begging Talk and Back Door Crusher, both 1986, are derived from “hobo language,” a series of marks used by hobos onwalls, doors, or fences to leave messages for other hobos regarding the relative merits of various towns and railroad stops. Roussi has worked and reworked the signs he has taken from this code until they have become a vocabulary of his own, which he manipulates in dense, complex patterns focused on a central motif. Even though the darkness of much of Roussi’s work in the last several years has in these pieces mostly given way to bright pastel greens, golds, and oranges, the crowded

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