Artists on Coping: Alyse Rosner

During the Coronavirus pandemic, Art Spiel is reaching out to artists to learn how they are coping.

How it looks right now in my studio March 2020 Graphite rubbing on yupo, Works in progress: Graphite and acrylic on raw canvas

Alyse Rosner is known for large scale abstract paintings melding graphite rubbings, gestural brushwork, obsessive mark making and transparent color reflecting her immediate surroundings, personal experience and environmental concerns. A graduate of the University of Michigan and The American University, Rosner received grants from the Connecticut Office of the Arts and The Sustainable Arts Foundation. Rosner has exhibited at the Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane University, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, BravinLee Programs, Odetta and Kathryn Markel Fine Art, as well as Real Art Ways and Artspace in Connecticut, among others. Alyse Rosner is represented by Rick Wester Fine Art.

AS: How are you coping?

AR: I am laying low and staying home as much as possible. I’m talking, emailing and texting with my family and friends- spending time with my kids and trying not to watch too much news.

Works in progress March 2020 Acrylic on raw pine 6 x 5 inches

AS: Has your routine changed?

AR: I probably am a routine kind of person (because we all probably are?) but in my mind, I shun routine; I dread that kind of monotony. Right now my days feel very long. But I am fortunate that so far everyone in my circle is healthy and my studio is here in my basement. Still, it’s been very hard to focus– I am distracted and worried. I do have lots of work in process in the studio though and I am drawing and painting as much as I can. Under normal circumstances, my primary focus is large scale paintings, but lately I am concentrating on small surfaces: ink on paper and acrylic on wood… I have a few big paintings going but I’m not forcing them. I’m also painting on some small cedar cubes that I’ve had in my studio for about 10 years. I don’t have any specific deadlines right now and that has taken the pressure off and opened my process to some extent. My work doesn’t always come together in a logical sequence and I try to be patient. Varying my practice and materials has generated some new vocabulary and right now I’m definitely in transition- curious to see where that takes me.

New drawings March 2020 ink on paper 12×9 inches

AS: Can you describe some of your feelings about all this?

AR: I keep trying to make sense of the disconnect between daily logistics, getting through the day in isolation and then the giant catastrophic events that are happening- the loss of life and debilitating circumstances people are enduring. One of the most difficult day to day things about this crisis is the necessity for isolation limiting the ways we can support and take care of each other. As someone who has experienced loss in the past in my own family, my heart aches for those who are losing family and friends and can’t visit and take care of sick family members or say goodbye or grieve together. That is unbearable to me.

Works in progress on my studio window sill March 2020, Graphite and acrylic on raw cedar 5 x 4.25 x 4.25 inches

AS: What matters most right now?

AR: My priority is to protect my family. Staying healthy, being generous and present for each other, recognizing that we are all under unusual stress in this uncharted territory… finding ways to be positive and supportive in the face of feeling terrified, angry, frustrated, lonely, tired. Right now what matters most to me are the people in our lives. I am incredibly grateful for the healthcare workers, janitors, the people restocking shelves everywhere and delivering food and products- everyone who is making things happen and function and continue wherever they can- and the people who are reaching out, creating content, sharing honest thoughts, creating extended community in all of this chaos.

New drawings March 2020 ink on paper 12×9 inches

AS: Any thoughts about the road ahead?

AR: I truly cannot envision what our post-virus, pre-vaccine world will look like. I’m not usually focused on the future- I’m more of a present tense kind of person, but I’m trying to be optimistic and hopeful about the coming months. I have a feeling social distancing will be our new normal for a while, but I miss people. Maybe this situation and the intensity of this collective experience will lead us to be more honest and more connected to each other. We might have to congregate in smaller groups, see art in real life on a more individual basis, but maybe we will understand each other more and be more generous. I think things are going to feel quieter for a while.

Work in progress Studio view March 2020 Graphite and acrylic on raw canvas Approximately 76 x 98 inches

Etty Yaniv works on her art, art writing and curatorial projects in Brooklyn. She founded Art Spiel as a platform for highlighting the work of contemporary artists, including art reviews, studio visits, interviews with artists, curators, and gallerists. For more details contact by Email: