Jul 22, 2011

Redfield Gallery: Recent Work on Paper

The Redfield Gallery, Northeast Harbor, ME, is pleased to present Robert S. Neuman: Recent Work on Paper. The Gallery is hosting a reception in honor of the artist’s 85th birthday on August 18th from 5:00 – 7:30pm. The exhibition is curated by Sunne Savage, founder of the Sunne Savage Gallery and wife of Robert S. Neuman. The exhibit will run August 18-September 5th, 2011.

Robert S. Neuman: Recent Works on Paper highlights mixed media works on paper from the Lame Deer, Space Signs, and Voyage Series. The term “mixed media” is used to describe Neuman’s combinations of pen and ink, colored pencil, pastel, collage, and graphite applied to his works on paper. Neuman states, “I began as an expressionist. Color is the primary agent in expressionist paintings, which can be very strong visually. As a mature artist, I assimilate color, space, design, visual weights and personal symbolism.”

Neuman, born in Idaho, pays homage to the native peoples of the Northwest through the Lame Deer Series. The series is named for a Northern Cheyenne reservation in Montana near the Battle of Little Big Horn (Custer’s Last Stand). The compositions are broken up with stark stick like lines, which are symbols for empty abandoned teepees, “as if someone lived there, but doesn’t anymore” Neuman describes.

The Space Signs Series, started in 1968, is inspired by contemplating space travel under the brilliant night sky of Down East Maine where Neuman owns a summer residence. Neuman composes geometric abstractions, similar to constellations, of brightly colored circles. The artist has used circular imagery in his work for many years. “The circle, it is thought, is one of the most harmonious of forms,” states Neuman.

Beyond the constellations of the Space Sign Series, is the metapshical space of the Voyage Series. Describing the Voyage Series Neuman remarks, “Contrary to the traditional apple on the plate in the center of the painting, these are ‘holistic’ paintings. In order to understand the artwork, one must focus on the entire surface, marks, color changes and drawing. When the two dimensional surface is touched by the artist, it becomes part of the painting. The total painting is the painting.”

Neuman began spending his summers in Maine in the early 1960’s, when he was a professor at Harvard University. Originally “summering” in Ogunquit, Allan Stone (the collector and friend) offered Neuman a home in Northeast Harbor in trade for paintings. Since that fortunate day, Robert S. Neuman and family enjoy time in Northeast Harbor, Maine.

Focusing in the state of Maine, Neuman’s artwork has been recently exhibited at the ABBE Museum, the College of the Atlantic, and the Courthouse Gallery. His work is included in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, ME; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, ME; The Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, NH; and other national institutions.