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DAVID FINDLAY GALLERIES, INC
984 Madison at 77th New York 10075
Press Release: March 1, 2008
For Immediate Release
Robyn Whitney Fairclough
March 5–29, 2008
The David Findlay Galleries are pleased to announce an exhibition of recent paintings by Robyn Whitney Fairclough. This is her third solo exhibition at the gallery. There will be a reception for the artist on Saturday March 15 between the hours of 2 and 4 pm. Ms. Fairclough will be in attendance.
In this current collection, Ms. Fairclough furthers the exploration of those themes that continue to provide for her and for the viewer a seemingly bottomless treasure trove of visual interest and pleasure. In literal terms, the paintings are, for the most part, about children fully absorbed in play on a beach. In pure visual terms, they are about the grace and authority of her artistic vision. Ms. Fairclough has a well-established signature style that immediately identifies her work as belonging to her and no other. This is seen in the way she groups her figures, in how she displays with well-chosen color the swaths of sand and white-capped waves of the sea and what she does to establish instantly recognizable bodily postures. One is always intrigued by the compelling quality of her composition, play of shadow and strong brushstroke. Each painting is a world in itself wherein the drama of color, figure and organization plays out with freshness and passion. There is an added level of depth and poignancy in her work as one feels an all-encompassing and watchful presence. This may be due, in part, to the adult personage either directly represented or implied just out of sight. But in a more mysterious way, one’s consciousness is gradually impressed by the recognition of large primordial elements at work in stark counterpoint to the innocent absorption of her youthful protagonists. As the painting unfolds for the viewer, one sees that Ms. Fairclough has an extraordinary mastery of the unselfconscious gesture and gait of children, the most bodily of creatures. There is the quiet revelation of perfection in how, for instance, the arm extends or the body moves in meeting an oncoming wave. One has seen these gestures and one smiles in recognition of how exactly and superbly they are captured with the minimum of detail. There may be temptation to think that having children as a subject matter must issue from sentimentality or nostalgia but these are qualities that do not adhere to her paintings. Ms. Fairclough’s objectivity and and honesty of eye and range of painterly concern form a hedge against them. At the same time, this objectivity does not prevent, in the least, a viewer from experiencing the warmth and charm of her paintings. Charm is, after all, an objective feature of life. It is most worthy of artistic expression when it is under the control, as it is with Ms. Fairclough’s work, of a mature and highly sophisticated artistic sensibility.
Ms. Fairclough is a graduate from the University of California at Santa Cruz and the Johnson State College / Vermont Studio Center with BFA and MFA degrees, respectively. She has studied with numerous artists including Wolf Kahn.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Rebecca Senior or Philip Smith Tel: 212-249-2909
Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10 AM-5 PM
FRANKFURTNEWSPAPER THE FRANKFURTER NEUE PRESSE
July 14th, 2004 (Translated 8/04)
The Summer of Childhood
Until August 28th, the Frankfurt Gallery Barbara von Stechow is showing paintings from the American Impressionist Robyn Whitney Fairclough.
They are sunny, upbeat summer paintings: children playing at the beach, summertime, holiday, vacation mood. “Strong, positive art without heavy intellectual overtones” is how one staff at the gallery’s Barbara von Stechow describes them.
However, one should not underestimate the colorful paintings by Robyn Whitney Fairclough in her first German solo exhibition.
Children are at the water, in the sand, lost in themselves – aware only of their existence and the surrounding elements. The horizons are high and the playing children are deeply embedded in the landscape. If they look at the observer, then the mother stands behind them, aware only of the outside world. Adults are in the way here. They look critically at what is around them. They turn away, disconnected from the exuberance the children display. The adults do not fit into the children’s world. Despite their summery lightheartedness, these works painted over the last four years, portray a sense of melancholy; knowledge of a world that the grownups have lost.
By reaching for her paintbrush, the painter searches for what was lost and tries to define the inner “I”. Art is her form of dialog. . . . “it is the moment when I lose myself. Nothing else exists except the painting and myself. For the first time, I can allow myself to be carried away with the process (of painting)” . . .
Fairclough describes with this exactly what she portrays in the painting: Children and adults connect in absence, lost in a dream. That is how the artist process comes to life on these canvases.
“Longing”, painted from 1999 – 2001, portrays a serious and thoughtful, yet unsure young woman who stands close to the edge of painting. She is distant from her playing children. Imploring in “Don’t Leave Here” (2003 – 2004) in which Fairclough paints a small boy. With his back turned to the viewer, the little boy sits in a brilliant green chair, mesmerized by the water. His feet are splashing in the water. The wide, friendly green lines of the chair mix with the blue of the water. Fairclough likes provocative colors which she often layers. Strong brush strokes define shapes and by using strong contrast, (orange/red, Turkish yellows), she makes them glow.
Fairclough lives in the northern United States in Vermont. She began her studies at the The Boston Museum School. At the University of California, Santa Cruz, she became interested in the Bay Area Figurative Painters – with such painters as David Park and Richard Diebenkorn. The influence of American Impressionist Edward Hopper is also unmistakable in her work.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT THE GALLERY:
Barbara von Stechow, Frankfurt amMein, Germany.