Gary Rough

Gary Rough is a Scottish conceptual artist based in New York who represented his homeland in the 2003 Venice Biennale. As described in the press release for a recent solo show at numberthirtyfive gallery, New York, Rough “has cast himself as the antihero in his own dystopian novel.” Rough scrupulously labors to report upon the fragility, pathos, and beauty of the human condition, evoking the romantic, mundane, bleak, and intimate in paintings, sculpture, text, T-shirts, site-specific installations, and more with work that appears to be cobbled together in a deceptively hurried and craftless manner. It is no surprise that Rough was attracted to Kurt Vonnegut’s character Rabo Karabekian, the fictional and failed Abstract Expressionist painter whose paintings faded and disappeared from their canvases in Bluebeard due to a combination of stupidity and bad luck. After working with the author, in 2007, the year of Vonnegut’s death, Rough recreated and showed Karabekian’s “Sateen-Dura Luxe” paintings, at Fergus McCaffrey Fine Art, New York, based on Vonnegut’s descriptions of them in the book. This exercise, and the remarkable resulting paintings, brought Rough critical acclaim and an intriguing relationship with Vonnegut and his widow. Rough continues to explore the ordinary and often pathetic experiences and conditions of life on earth with tenderness and extraordinary astuteness. For Tuesday Evenings, he shares the insights and revelations of his career thus far.