new-york

Rosa Almeida

John Weber Gallery

In general, verbal art—that is, literature—admits the graphic image only to attain the effect of a simpler, more direct presentation than would be possible in words; symmetrically enough, the visual arts sometimes resort to writing in order to seem more direct than depiction might allow. Each mode might occur within the other as a form of simplification. In Rosa Almeida’s work, however, where the verbal and the visual are, for once, on exactly even terms, nothing ever seems to simplify anything.

The work’s components are simple enough, it’s true—bits of trivial though sometimes emotional conversation (“I want to leave let’s go,” “stop it ssssstop you’re hurting me”) and snatches of song lyrics (“your kiss is sweeter than honey and guess what so is my money”) mixed with lots of involuted doodling and long, meandering lines, all executed in various colors and scripts. (Although the artist is

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