The weeks leading up to a show at the Gallery are always exciting, as we get to live with a crop of new paintings, see our own work enhance already beautiful pictures, and watch the exhibit come together. It’s always a joy. But the show we’re currently mounting is extra special, because it’s the first one-man show we’ve held for an artist who, as the very first painter we represented, has always had an especially significant role in the Gallery—Robert Flanary. The show, which opens February 4 with an artist’s reception, is called Robert Flanary: Seeing All Together and will feature Bob’s recent landscape paintings. I’ll be discussing it more in the weeks ahead, but am spotlighting today the piece featured on the postcard and all our publicity, a 20″ x 24″ oil painting titled “Outcropping.” Trevor made this 2-1/2″ wide quartersawn white oak mortise and tenon frame with a carved chamfer sight edge (No. 1100 CV) and white gold slip.
Bob’s life has been as devoted to painting as any artist’s could be, and now that he’s retired—after twenty years teaching art in a high security juvenile prison in Olympia, Washington—he’s more focused on his work than ever. It’s an extraordinary thing to spend so many years honing one’s art—not only the skills but all the knowledge, insight and understanding entailed in true mastery. I’ve witnessed many a gallery visitor, often painters themselves, stand entranced before a Flanary painting that is at once a compelling abstract composition, a precise observation of nature, and a painted surface that mesmerizes the attentive viewer by slowly revealing itself.
In Bob’s latest work, much of his attention is on composition, exploring the fascinating interplay of a picture’s parts and elements that, in practiced hands, can lead to that transcendent vision and experience of the harmony of nature and the unity of being—the vision Bob calls “seeing all together.”
Over the course of these twenty-four years that we’ve been representing Bob, his extraordinarily sensitive and reflective tonalist style has made him a big favorite of many of our customers. Few visitors who appreciate landscape painting can pass up a long look at Bob’s work or fail to appreciate its unique and accomplished character. Most of all what captivates viewers are the powerful moods the work conveys. I expect this show to stir some real excitement among Bob’s fans.
Robert Flanary: Seeing All Together will run February 4 through March 11, and will open Saturday, February 4th with a reception for the artist from 1 to 4—a rare opportunity for those many admirers among you to meet him in person. So save the date!
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