The opening reception for Roseline Delisle last Saturday was a bittersweet moment for the gallery. It had the feeling of a reunion, as friends and family of Roseline and her husband, Bruce Cohen, filled the space. Spanning two decades of her career, the sixteen works on display demonstrate Roseline’s commitment to her aesthetic vision – they grow larger but maintain her characteristic precision and elegance.
Vertical vessels, composed of stacked cylinders that interlock seamlessly, Roseline’s work is almost mechanical in its exactitude. A strict color palette of blue, black, and white is made infinitely variable through her use of horizontal striping. Yet for all its austerity, her work never crosses over into the severe, as her forms refer to the figure. With foot, body, waist, and head, her vessels have a human presence. When installed in groups, these figures form families.
Roseline’s belief in the power of a beautifully designed form ties her work to that of Kasimir Malevich and Oskar Schlemmer, whom she cited as important influences. Her work feels as fresh and modern now as it did when it was made.
It never occurred to me that my career would last this long, but I was recently struck by the fact that I’ve spent the last 29 years perfecting a specific idea. When I ask myself how I’ve stayed with it for so long, I remember a dream I had many years ago. I dreamed I was walking down a long road and that the road was my work. The sun was setting at the end of the road, and all I had to do to get to this exquisite sunset was keep walking.