Roland Flexner

Born 1944 in Nice, France
Lives and Works in New York, New York

Roland Flexner expands the definition of drawing by creating intricately detailed works of ink on paper using only his breath, chance, and gravity as tools. The works on view in 2010 were created using a Japanese decorative art technique in which paper is laid on top of ink floating on water or gelatin, creating a marbled effect. However, Flexner departs from the traditional technique, altering the composition in the moment before the ink is absorbed by tilting, blowing, or blotting the paper. The resulting images oscillate between illusionistic landscape and pure abstraction.

The drawings relate to Flexner’s interest in the seventeenth-century European practice of collecting geological samples (often polished cross-sections of stone) that resemble images such as those found in landscape painting. These collections were inspired by similar traditions in Asian cultures in which contemplating stones was meant to inspire meditation on nature’s transformations. In turn, the landscapes that seem to emerge out of abstraction in Flexner’s drawings reveal our own tendency to project pictures or interpretations onto ambiguous images.

Read About the Artist

Artist's website

"Ink Worlds"
Mousse Magazine (2008)

"Art Review; Going the Way of All Flesh, Artistically"
The New York Times (October 2007)

"Roland Flexner at Caren Golden"
Art in America (March 2006)

"Roland Flexner: Nocturne"
Brooklyn Rail (November 2005)

"Art in Review; Roland Flexner; Iona Rozeal Brown"
The New York Times (October 2002)