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Aura Rosenberg

I Know It When I See It

February 22 - March 30, 2013
Opening reception: Friday, February 22, 6 - 8 pm
Closing performance: Saturday, March 30, 7 pm

I Know It When I See It

Martos Gallery is pleased to announce the first solo show of Aura Rosenberg with the gallery.

The Golden Age:

More than twenty-five years ago. I made paintings based on images from pornographic magazines. These publications featured fantasy narratives enacted by a cast of porn stars with elaborate sets and props. When I returned to this material, a few years ago, I found that the magazines were no longer being published. When I googled the names of some of the actors, what came up was, “The Golden Age of Porn”—a period extending from the late 1960s to the mid '80s.


These carry an inadvertent set of marks, made with the intention of mixing a color for a painting.

The Astrological Ways:

You could once tell time by looking at the starry sky. Celestial bodies formed patterns that told you the time of year. Celestial bodies, our bodies. A black light poster from 1972, The Afrological Ways, links sex positions with astrological signs. Based on this poster, couples cover their bodies with paint and imprint them into black velvet. There is one painting for each sign.

A line drawing of a giraffe from Freud’s Sexual Enlightenment of Children:

This case study, published in 1909, describes the analysis of little Hans, who developed a phobia of horses at age 5. Hans’s father, a follower of Freud, undertook the treatment of his own son.:

I draw a giraffe for Hans … He says to me, “You must draw his widdler.” (Hans’s name for penis.) I reply, “Draw it yourself.” At this Hans adds a new line to the picture of the giraffe, which at first he leaves short but then adds another line to it, remarking, “His widdler is longer than that.”

The analysis ultimately reveals Hans’s sexual desires for his mother along with feelings of jealousy and aggression towards his father. The recognition of these feelings leads to a cure.

In the movie Goldfinger, M asks Bond: "What do you know about gold?" Bond replies, "I know it when I see it.”

Aura Rosenberg lives and works in New York and Berlin. Recent solo exhibitions include Sometimes (works of art), New York, and Sassa Trülzsch, Berlin. Recent group exhibitions include "Flaming Creatures", Julia Stoschek Collection, Düsseldorf, "Too Old for Toys, Too Young for Boys", curated by Alex Gartenfeld, OHWOW, Los Angeles, "White Petals Surround Your Yellow Heart", curated by Anthony Elms at ICA Philadelphia, "Creature From the Blue Lagoon" organized by Bob Nickas, Martos Gallery, Bridgehampton, and "These Transitional Spaces", curated by Seth Kelly at Franklin Street Works, Stamford. Other exhibitions include MoMA PS1, The Swiss Institute, The Sculpture Center, and White Columns, New York; NGBK, Berlin; bb3 (Berlin Biennale 3), Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin; Kunsthalle St. Gallen, St. Gallen; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Pera Museum, Istanbul; Kunsthaus Centre d'art, Switzerland; Macro Museum of Contemporary Art, Rome and Salzburger Kunstverein, Austria, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg among many others. Rosenberg has published three volumes of photography, Headshots (Stop Over Press), Berlin Childhood(Steidl Verlag/D.A.A.D.), and Who Am I? What Am I? Where Am I? (Hatje Cantz Verlag).

For further information please contact Mary Grace Wright at or 212-560-0670

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