David Roesing “Do Now or Do Later”

28 July - 25 August 2023

Sebastian Gladstone is pleased to announce “Do Now or Do Later,” the first west-coast solo exhibition of the New York-based artist David Roesing. The exhibition will open on Friday July 28th with an opening reception from 7-9PM and continue through Friday August 25th. 


David Roesing’s paintings conjure the flashing feeling of paging through a picture book, or reading an instructional diagram. In his work, commercial surfaces flicker amongst Legos, scientific scenarios, charts and graphs–all over compositions that project the addled and overloaded brain of a child of the internet. These paintings are inherently “now” in the sense that if we had James Rosenquist at the peak of the billboard, we have Roesing at the peak of the clickable banner ad. 


Roesing’s pictures evoke the experience of the scroll– the eye is active, while the back of a brain is teeming with incoming information. In Puzzle Comes Together 2021, we see a picture filled with ambiguous corporate characters, the retina parses a pattern of circles and colors, a nose taking in scents unknown to the eye, and a series of abstract movements that could be described as hard-edge. Taken at face value, these elements might seem  unrelated, but this is a literal manifestation of the ADHD brain in all its glory. The painting conveys a world where a scent, a sight, or even a sound can move the viewer from one thing to another in a split second–breaking focus on a small part of the scene, exhaling to take in the entire scenario–the paintings propose we savor this ebb and flow, it might just tell us something. 


It is in this context that the work’s nudging questions around labor, ideology, and affect come to the fore; depicting the modern    construction of the “individual” in the most grustle (grind and hustle) sense possible. Captions like ANALYZE, ENGAGEMENT and YES! recall those Instagram entrepreneurs intoning canned phrases; a quick million, then out. Roesing’s whiteboard works create a paradox within this paradigm, as they make visible our futile pursuit of the fully permanent. For the artist, the laborious medium of dry erase presses against the highest market impulses of our moment, creating something seemingly impermanent and garish, a bridge between the doodle and the declaration, a gap that playfully connects a naive and sentimental charm. 


Throughout this entire body of work, there is a deep exploration into what it means to exist in a world between the impulse for    survival and the need for leisurely time to express oneself and explore the unknown. Yet, in the pursuit of these goals, we find      ourselves caught in the rat-race saving for the next all-inclusive vacation or mindset seminar. Roesing understands all this, his pictures reflect on the in-between time–stuck in a doom scroll at a standing desk in an empty WeWork, and ponder the possibilities within these moments for brief and fleeting expressions of hope.

Installation Views