ARC ONE Gallery is delighted to present, 'Afterglow', the latest body of paintings by leading Australian artist, Robert Owen. These visually-arresting works continue the artist’s exploration of the perceptual and emotional effects of light, colour, and space.
Guided by curiosity and wonder, Robert Owen’s knowledge of colour is profound. In colour he finds harmony and melody, using chromatic combinations to achieve sensations that pulsate from the walls like sound waves or musical nuances. 'Afterglow' at ARC ONE Gallery stems from one of Owen’s diary drawings executed while living on the Greek island of Hydra in the early 1960s. On the island, Owen witnessed an eclipse of the sun: an experience that has informed the artist’s enduring interest in the transcendent capacity of space, light, and colour. Owen’s formative research and experiences of Constructivism and De Stijl are apparent in 'Afterglow' where succinct geometric forms, vertical stripes, and squares of strong colour evoke the physical and metaphysical. Owen’s diary drawing from 1964, vibrant with its rework composition, perfectly encapsulates a synthetic moment and the relationship between time and progress. Describing the image, Owen draws on the paradox articulated by French philosopher Gaston Bachelard in his book, 'Intuition of the Instant', which posits life as an enduring string of moments that are infinite. It is this flash of illumination, combined with his poetic experiences on Hydra, from which Owen’s continued interest in the perceptual and emotional effects of space, light, and colour has materialised.