June 19 - August 28, 2016

curated by Alanna Heiss

Robert Yasuda, Across the River, 2016, two-part site-specific installation



Alanna Heiss speaks with Robert Yasuda on the occasion of "40" at MoMA PS1.
(click here to open audio in a new tab)
Length: 2 min, 14 sec



Robert Yasuda creates abstract and atmospheric paintings with custom framing elements. He typically employs numerous layers of translucent acrylic-based pigments, resulting in a richly iridescent surface that responds dynamically to both natural and artificial light.

For Rooms, Yasuda created an “installation painting,” executing his work on architectural supports consisting of freestanding walls angled downward toward the viewer. “One of the most important things about Rooms was being able to create a work without dealing with permanence,” Yasuda recalls. “That freed you to work with the moment, and to make the piece for that place, and actually for nowhere else. I appreciate the control that site-specific work gives the artist.”

In Across the River (a reference to the geographical location of PS1 from Manhattan), Yasuda has recreated a version of the large, leaning painting he made for Rooms, once again engaging the particular constraints of the gallery space: “I am really working with the electric bulbs you have, and the quality of the reflective paint you have on the walls,” Yasuda explains. “For me, it’s always trying to incorporate all the different elements that exist in the room, and making them part of the piece. There is a beam that goes across the ceiling, and at first that seemed like an encumbrance, but once I decided to incorporate it, it was terrific that it was there. It just changes the whole nature of the space. And part of my job as an artist is to become inclusive, and to have as much of the room work for the piece as possible.”