Reynolds Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Linear Progressions, an exhibition of Robert Stuart’s recent collage paintings. The exhibition opens with a reception for the artist on Friday, March 16 from 7 – 9 pm, and continues through April 27, 2018.
In 1992, Stuart held his first solo show at Reynolds Gallery, consisting of eleven representational paintings of arranged bottles. Conveying a relatively ordinary subject, Stuart challenged each composition through form and tension. He captured the curve of a bottle or the edge of a table with generous applications of oil to build a wet, glossy surface. The paintings transcended still-lifes, becoming intense studies of subject and material surface in relation to light. In the late 90s, light took precedence as Stuart explored its quality through hyper-saturated, abstract oil paintings. Now, in his tenth solo exhibition at the gallery, Stuart demonstrates his mastery of light and color as the primary subject matter of his works. Stuart pushes luminous compositions through his primary technique of collaging, using narrow strips of oil and wax as collected material to form colored bands. The layered material does not result in a dense surface, rather it assumes an ethereal nature and exudes a mysterious glow.
Concerning the new work, Stuart states “it feels like a change in the past couple years, a ‘freshening.’ Before, I’d only used collage on small scale paper; more recently I’ve used it more and more, including on canvas as well, and on a larger scale. It encourages ‘trial-and-error.’ I search through my extensive piles of painted strips of paper, residue from years of demarcating bands and lines on larger canvases, and ‘find’ what I want rather than painting it. There’s a lot of putting it on, then removing it. A lot of searching for colors and textures, then measuring and cutting. Larger canvases may not use collage, but I think my procedure on them has been influenced by the discoveries with collage.”
Stuart received his BFA from Boston University School for the Arts and his MFA from James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia (1977, 1984). Stuart is the recipient of major accolades including an Academy Award in Art from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York; a residency from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Sweet Briar, Virginia; and a Museum Purchase Award from the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC. His work has been exhibited widely at the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Art Prospects, both, New York; Mary Baldwin College and Staunton Augusta Art Center, both, Staunton, Virginia; Washington and Lee University DuPont Gallery, Lexington, VA; Woodbury Art Museum, Orem, UT; JB Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY; Virginia Historical Society and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia. His work is in the collections of the Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC; Hunter Museum of Art, Chattanooga, TN; Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, VA: Woodbury Art Museum, Orem, UT; Eleanor D. Wilson Museum, Hollins University, Hollins, VA; Bank of America and General Electric, both, Charlotte, NC; The Martin Agency, Markel Corporation, McGuire Woods, Medical College of Virginia, SunTrust, Philip Morris, and University of Richmond, all, Richmond, Virginia. Stuart lives and works in Staunton, VA.