Frances Trombly and Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova "Come Together" at Bass Museum of Art

Some couples can't agree on anything. Who will pick up the kid from day care? Who will throw out the trash? Who will scoop up the dog poop? Who will decide who decides? Frances Trombly and Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova are both prolific Miami artists who happen to be married. They have been partners the past decade, and working side-by-side in a studio while raising a toddler daughter Penelope and Mowgli their pet black Shepherd dog is part of their domestic discipline and collaborative work ethic.

"Our lives are always surrounded by making work and being involved in it," Rodriguez-Casanova says.

"We are always together and always discussing things. We enjoy working together and collaborating since this is the family business. Whether it's for her show, my show or both, we are always working together helping one another. As always, there are little disagreements here and there as any healthy relationship and partnership," he adds.

Frances Trombly, Storage 2011
Handwoven canvas, wood. Courtesy of the artist and David Castillo Gallery

For them, making art is the fun part so they don't sweat over who's turn it is to do laundry or mow the lawn. Instead, they have cooked up their second collaborative effort to date, "Come Together" an exhibit at the Bass Museum of Art, which seamlessly fuses their talents in a show balancing the hand-crafted and the mass-produced.


Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova, A Falling Ceiling Held by Blinds 2011
Vertical blinds, lamp, wood, textured ceiling paint. Courtesy of the artist and David Castillo Gallery

"Our art practices differ in many ways, but one is in our process," Rodriguez-Casanova explains. "Frances is about the hand, making and the craft. I'm more interested in research, concept, space and the intimate connection with objects that already live in the real world. Frances wants to bring awareness to the history of craft, women's issues and the labor behind everything we take for granted."

"I too want to bring awareness to labor, but the labor of the amateur, the expression of creativity through way society devalues--through un-artistic means. The determining factors in my work in economics, consumerism and corporations which have predetermined most of the colors, sizes and styles of everything we surround ourselves with,"  says the artist, who along with his wife, is currently in Paris as part of the artist-in-residence Ville de Paris-Culturesfrance Program the next several months.

At the Bass, Trombly, 34, has created installations inspired by everyday objects you can find laying around the house such as Mop, a sculpture fashioned from hand-spun silver wool and cotton.

Rodriguez-Casanova, 37, who knows his way around the corner hardware store's aisles, works with home-decorating items in an attempt to deconstruct the domestic environment. The handy hubby has created an installation featuring a section of ceiling, vertical blinds and a chandelier, skewed at an angle.

"Where we meet conceptually is in the end. The reductive post-minimal presentation of our work and our intense interest for the banal and everyday aesthetic. Our interest in marginalized labor, although, craft has made quite a comeback on contemporary art," Rodriguez-Casanova says.

At the museum, their intriguing works come together in a perfect marriage of contrasting styles where the soft and rigid combine in conceptually playful ways.

"Come Together," Bass Museum of Art 2100 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach. Through June 19. Call 305-673-7530 or visit bassmuseum.org.

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