In and Out Andrew Cornell Robinson and Robert Appleton
Below is what artist and writer Frank Holliday had to say about my work in a recent exhibition at the Paul Sharpe Contemporary Art gallery in Chelsea.
Two artists, dealing with an interior/exterior narrative landscape share a location at Paul Sharpe in Chelsea. What is interesting about this pairing is how Robert Appleton starts with the interior self-spiritual, psychological, metaphysical-and ends up with a traditionally pictorial exterior space, where Andrew Robinson begins with real objects, from the exterior landscape-fabrics, needlepoint, ceramics, cards, hands-and ends up with an interior space.
These two artists intersect with their use of image clusters and their homage to the handmade, with polarized results.Appleton sets up his contradictions pictorially-productive/ destructive, here/there-exploring pathos while his subjects deal and escape from their landscapes. He embraces stories of birth and death as in “Genesis,” or “Venus In Furs” by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. Images of men dressed in suits stand alone in a graphite field, falling figures float in a mental landscape, barren trees and empty procreation fill these drawings with drama and obsessive narrative.In “Morphing,” a crudely drawn heterosexual couple engages in intercourse; she resides between two landscape locations, the physical, and her own mental imagined landscape, splitting and escaping the realities at hand. These drawing evoke Blake but with a childlike, bad boy illustrative attitude.
Andrew Robinson’s physical mapping of culturally loaded tropes and locations forces us to read the object as the body, and we end up with a more abstract idea. In “Measure of a Man” (2006), a large framed assemblage, canvas panels, Mr. and Mrs. pillowcases, and embroidered donkeys are juxtaposed with broad and loosely painted sections to create a physical interior that can support ceramic heads, a paper hand of cards, and a ruler that floats and hang above the picture plane on wires. Robinson magnifies the object’s quality and the physical presence of the picture by leaning it against the wall with wooden supports. The disjointed image is more of a constructed “self” than an illustrated one, while all is offered up in an altar like sacrifice.Each artist embraces history through a handmade awkward humanness, yet retaining a razor sharp vision of intimacy. Although they explore image-making in a different way, the two both share personal stories that deal with otherness, of man trying to fit in, question, or even reject social hierarchies.
By Frank Holliday
Robert Appleton “Another Green World”
Andrew Cornell Robinson in the viewing room
Paul Sharpe Contemporary Art
525 W. 29th St.
Tue.-Sat. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Through Dec. 16, 2006