Front Room Gallery is proud to present “Metropolitan Gardens,” a solo exhibition of new works on paper by Ross Racine. In this exhibition—his third with the gallery— Racine depicts realistic aerial views of fictional suburban communities. These works on paper present structural layouts of invented subdivisions, which in many ways illustrate the isolated conditions common in these types of developments.
Racine’s work is photorealistic, but not photographic, it is completely created from beginning to end by Racine without a camera or a photographic reference. Racine is an omniscient surveillance camera in the sky, his world is filled with the contradictory bravado of a demented city planner. His suburbs have no zoning, roads go nowhere, or way too far. They are at once wholly improbable and completely possible, and they remind us how misguided we can be. They poke fun at human nature, at grandiosity, and impracticality.
Racine’s works are line and texture, with the flattened plane of a satellite photograph—no horizon line, no sky. The subtle tones and photographic grain often veer almost to complete abstraction, only to be brought back by what is undeniably a house with trees around it and a garage. The buildings themselves become patterns, the uniform and also very random lines of the streets and the patchwork grains in the fields form uneven grids. These works on paper have as much in common with oriental rugs or quilted blankets as they do with Google maps. They tell a story.