The Contemporary Austin’s Free Week Features Artist Deborah Roberts

See Deborah Roberts: I’m and Torbjørn Rødland: Bible Eye before they close

By Aaron Parsley
Photographs courtesy of The Contemporary Austin
Deborah Roberts: I’m
Deborah Roberts photographed by Aaron Pinkston.

Deborah Roberts is one of Austin’s most cherished artists. By using found images and paint, she creates collages on paper and canvas that contain complex themes within the layers of her art.

Her work is timely, important and worth experiencing in person, which you can do for free this month at The Contemporary Austin.

Black children are often the subjects in Roberts’ art, which depicts their experiences growing up in a country with a violent history of — and an ongoing struggle with — racism. There are dichotomies in the figures Roberts creates. These kids are vulnerable yet powerful. The images can be both joyful and somber at the same time. There is beauty as well as pain.

Deborah Roberts, The duty of disobedience, 2020. Mixed media collage on canvas. 72 x 100 inches. Artwork © Deborah Roberts. Courtesy the artist; Vielmetter Los Angeles; and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London. Image courtesy The Contemporary Austin. Photograph by Paul Bardagjy.

Roberts first solo exhibition in Texas, Deborah Roberts: I’m opened at The Contemporary Austin in January and comes to a close this month. In its final week, from August 9 until August 15, admission will be free to experience the all-new works that make up the impactful body of work.

The work of Torbjørn Rødland is also part of The Contemporary’s Free Week. The Norwegian artist uses photography and video to create surrealist images. The exhibit, Torbjørn Rødland: Bible Eye, which has run concurrently with I’m at The Jones Center downtown, is also his first solo show in Texas. The collection demonstrates Rødland’s use of highly styled subjects — humans, inanimate objects, food and garments — in controlled spaces. The techniques are taken from commercial photography and the traditions of still life and portraiture but with a provocative twist that is appealing, perplexing and bizarre.

Torbjørn Rødland, Dancer, 2009 -2012. Chromogenic print on Kodak Endura paper. 17 3/4 x 22 1/2 inches. Edition 3of 3, 1 AP. Artwork © Torbjørn Rødland. Collection of Martinand Rebecca Eisenberg. Image courtesy the artist.

Tickets for The Contemporary Austin’s Free Week must be reserved in advance. Visit the event page to find a time so you don’t miss the opportunity to experience these two exhibitions without spending a dime.


Read More From the Outdoors Issue | Summer 2021


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