Robert Kushner: On Location
March 22 – April 21, 2007
In this exhibition Robert Kushner shows three monumental paintings, each painted either literally on location or created for specific rooms in other locations. Throughout these recent works Kushner explores the interplay of rich and evocative materials: oil paint, gold and silver leaf, oxidized copper leaf, mica powders and glitter. The resulting compositions are tight knit juxtapositions of carefully observed floral forms and geometric fracturing of space. Kushner continues to utilize chance operations both in the placement of the flowers and leaves as well as in designating the size and location of the background shapes.
Spring Scatter Summation, 7 x 45 feet in size, was created as a temporary installation to grace ten niches in the Great Room of Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke, MA. It will also travel this summer to the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC. This series of ten panels can be viewed individually or as one panoramic vista. The exhibition at DC Moore will be the first time that they have been seen as a continuum. They were painted during the course of one spring, sequentially following the progression of northeast garden flowers, from forsythia in early March to peonies and lilacs in late May. The background treatment of gold and silver leaf and mica was created by utilizing chance operations with an overall organizational grid.
Seattle Wildflower Promenade, fourteen panels measuring a total of 8 x 32 feet, was painted for the doors of a private home in Seattle. It depicts wildflowers indigenous to Washington State. The flowers seem to be floating against a sea of oxidized copper leaf. It has a light, almost rococo feeling evoking French or English brocades of the 18th century, but placing this aesthetic clearly in a 21st century idiom.
The twelve panels of Red Emperors, 5 x 36 feet, were painted on location in a garden in Long Island. The artist was poised before a long bed of multicolored tulips working with speed and abandon to catch the fleeting beauty of the tulip bed before inclement weather might put a premature end to its ephemeral splendor. The placement of the flowers was determined by the varying growth patterns of the different colors of tulips. The background shapes were added later in the artist’s studio utilizing chance.
A 120-page monograph on Kushner’s recent paintings, inspired by and often literally painted directly on antique Japanese screens, written by Michael Duncan, was published by Pomegranate in Fall 2006.