Miyoshi Barosh: The End

September 6–December 22, 2022
Mini Gallery | Press Release | Object List and Exhibition Text

Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum presents five works by the late artist Miyoshi Barosh in a concise exhibition called The End. Centered on the eponymous 2017 sculptural mixed media work and the study sketches that led to its completion, the Mini Gallery holds space to explore an especially poignant creative process. Created shortly after the artist’s 2016 diagnosis with uterine cancer, The End is an exhibition that contemplates expression during the most profound conclusion one can consider: the end of one’s own life.

The artist began her process with quick doodles, which led to three-dimensional works that despite their physical complexity still retained a "fresh, unfussy, drawing-like quality," according to the artist’s widower, fellow artist Jeff Colson. In presenting four of these quick drawings that evolved into the wall sculpture, THE END (2017), we see the completion of a work’s life cycle through an existential lens. Visitors are invited to witness how sketches progress into a fully realized work densely packed with various textiles and yarns, cast glass, and steel cables. 

Barosh spent the last three years of her life making work that confronted her mortality with fierce excess, mockery, and dearth of sentimentality.  During this particularly prolific time, she contemplated her own demise and processed personal challenges through artistic production. Working in diverse media—from thrift shop afghans and craft store yarns to cast glass and welded steel, and more—she explored her insatiable interest in the socio-political underpinnings of American culture. The artist’s signature “Conceptual Pop” art style combines a quirky mix of materials and delightful color choices with a resonating sense of anxiety and discontent. Laden with humor, satire, and grotesquery, Barosh's multimedia works remain bright despite their common references to abject bodily functions. Within her whirlwind of hues and textures, carnivalesque feminisms and critiques live on.

About the Artist

Miyoshi Barosh (1959-2019) received a BFA in painting at Rhode Island School of Design in 1981, and soon after moved to New York, where she became the first Managing Editor of BOMB magazine. Upon receiving an MFA from CalArts in 1989, Barosh became involved with A.R.T. Press (Art Resources Transfer), where she worked on book-length interviews with artists Vija Celmins, Felix Gonzales-Torres, and Mike Kelley, among others. During this timeframe, Barosh published and edited her own arts journal, Now Time. She was also involved in the artist collaborative, Project X, which evolved into X-tra Contemporary Arts Quarterly. Barosh was artist-in-residence at the Pilchuck School of Glass in 2014 and the first artist-in-residence at the New Children’s Museum in San Diego in 2009. Barosh's life work was recognized in a three-part solo exhibition entitled LOVE (2020) collectively presented at the commercial venues Luis de Jesus Gallery, the Pit, and Night Gallery.

Miyoshi Barosh: The End installation photograph by Tatiana Mata