Here it’s worth remembering that the original impetus behind nonobjective art was to banish representation and illusionism, a burden only partially lifted from painting by photography. The quest, originally cast in spiritual terms, took on particular urgency in the years between the wars. Recast by minimalists and hard-edged-painters in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and powered by formalist arguments about flatness, geometric abstraction acquired a second life, becoming domesticated and institutionalized in the process. In its third incarnation, the one Rojas inhabits, the rewards have grown substantially harder to reach, owing to the number of possibilities that have already been explored.
Of the paintings utilizing curved forms, the strongest calls to mind a Middle Eastern city, seen in wispy spires arching upward to sharp points. Figurative allusions arise from a work containing twinning ghostly shapes, pinched on either side by horizontal bands and surrounded by a field of pure white. Elsewhere, totemic associations spring from a small painting on a freestanding wall; while on a long wall, a trio of virtually identical hard-edged compositions reveals what minute shifts in color and line can accomplish. The exercise feels like something of a parlor game – until you reach a fourth iteration of the painting in which a truncated cross, painted in deep blue and destabilized at the bottom left by an off-kilter flap, snaps us into a state of hyperawarness, achieving something akin to a heraldic vision.