• Rob Birza, Shifting Systems III, 2011, egg tempera on canvas, 70 7/8 x 78 3/4".

    Rob Birza

    Willem Baars Projects

    It might have taken a moment to realize what Rob Birza’s exhibition “Shifting Systems” reminded you of: Tintin’s Inca adventure in the Temple of the Sun. You went through a door and suddenly you were surrounded by paintings and objects that seemed to come from another culture, almost another universe, bristling with signs and symbols—maps, diagrams, mandalas?—that invited you to puzzle out their meaning, to discover an underlying system. But no matter how hard you tried, you hit a wall. It was hopeless. You were left with ambivalence; the pleasures of form and color ought to have been

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