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No Discernible Roses by Annalisa Barron

Frontispace is pleased to present the exhibition No Discernible Roses by Annalisa Barron.

What was beautiful in the eyes of your ancestors? How did they create that beauty? What did they make it with…and can you make it with them?

Itinerant artist, Annalisa Barron, has spent the last two years researching the pigments, techniques and history of Norwegian rosemaling. A distinct form of folk painting only found in Norway, the term rosemaling originates from Norwegian dialects where words like rosut, rosete or rosa mean decorative or decorated along with maler, meaning ‘painter’. There are no discernible plant species - or roses - in rosemaling.

Beginning in the 1700s, rosemalers that learned from guilds moved through the countryside looking for work. As they traveled further away, their Rococo vegetal motifs evolved and then were copied by amateur painters. This resulted in distinctly regional rosemaling styles across Norway. Despite its variation, it is united by the constant evolution of its natural forms. It is wild, capricious painting. It thrives in change.

In June of 2023, Barron traveled to Hyeres, France as part of Ground from the Ground, an ongoing project that sources material from the ground to make raw, regional, folk paintings. She studied local flora with a ball lens and crushed up pieces of buildings and bauxite from the landscape with a mortar and pestle. The forms from the plants and the crushed materials were used to create small study paintings. After returning to the U.S., a final work inspired by Hyeres, ‘Rebellious Hope’ was made. Its motifs evolved and unfolded due to the distance, just as a rosemaler’s might as they stepped out of a boat to find work.

Rebellious Hope

The Vesterheim Museum and the Norwegian-American database provided information on specific pigments used in traditional Norwegian rosemaling. All the paint in NO DISCERNIBLE ROSES is either crushed items from specific locations or from the Norse color palette: Cinnabar, Orpiment, Lithopone, Red Barite, Ultramarine, Luberon Raw Umber, Minimum, Yellow Ochre, and Black Oxide.

For more information about the artist and the artist's work visit: and join us at the artist talk in Frontispace on November 10, at 6pm.

Check out Barron's interview with Jeannine Guilyard about the exhibition here.

Frontispace is located at the entrance to the Art and Music Library on the ground floor of Rush Rhees Library at the University of Rochester. Gallery hours are the same as the Art and Music Library.

University of Rochester

Rush Rhees Library

755 Library Road

Rochester NY, 14627


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