Jul 21, 2014

Robert S. Neuman Exhibition at Star Gallery in Maine

Star Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Robert S. Neuman’s exhibition on August 14, 2014. The exhibition runs from August 14th through August 27th, 2014. Mr. Neuman, 87, and his family will both be present at the Gallery for the opening reception on August 14th, 2014 from 5:00-7:00pm. Star Gallery is located at 6 Neighborhood Road in Northeast Harbor, Maine.

This retrospective-style exhibition will include paintings, mixed media works on paper and prints dating from 1961-1998. The selection at Star Gallery represents how the Artist is able to translate modern day cultural themes throughout his diverse series’ and various media.

All of the works featured in this exhibition represent Neuman’s distinctive artistic language. Often, forms, textures and shapes are created by stamping household items like lamp shades, tuna cans, and toothpaste caps onto the canvas. The Artist also uses a taping technique, which allows bold lines of color- blocked spaces, or the opposite: sedimentary layers of paint and tape. Neuman used both of these techniques throughout his body of work and also when creating unique works on paper and prints.

The Space Signs, Stacks and Piles and Ship to Paradise Series’ were influenced by the Artist’s time in Maine. Neuman began spending summers in Maine in the early 1960s, 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 the mid-1960s, the Artist and his family have enjoyed time in Northeast Harbor, Maine.

The Space Signs Series, begun in 1966, contemplates space travel in the early 1960s by using bright colors, stamping and taping to represent interstellar orbs and geometric landscapes. Neuman reminisces of nights in Northeast Harbor enjoying the stars with friends and family. Stacks and Piles are inspired by cairns found when hiking the Acadia National Park trails. Likewise, Ship to Paradise represents the nautical themes of time spent in Maine. Ship to Paradise Storm and Construction illustrate Neuman’s admiration of Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee and Juan Miró. 

Neuman’s other four series that are represented in the exhibition all draw upon the Artist’s travels and life experiences. Pedazos del Mundo, begun in 1961, was a response to Neuman’s time spent abroad on Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellowships in the mid-1950s. Reflecting on all the pieces (“pedazos”) that make up our world (“mundo”), Neuman focused on a centric circle composed of many layers of shapes and colors, all symbolizing different aspects of the world.  The Artist also incorporated elements of collage and stamping into the canvases, prints and unique works on paper in the Pedazos del Mundo series.

The Lame Deer Series, begun in 1978, is named for a Northern Cheyenne reservation in Montana, near the battle of Little Big Horn. Neuman was inspired to create this series after visiting the reservation while on a cross-country trip. Many paintings in the Lame Deer Series are named after famous Native American chiefs or locations that pertain to the plight of the tribes, such as Little Shell and Greasy Grass. The Lame Deer compositions are often broken up with bold, stick-like lines, which are used as symbols for empty, abandoned teepees.

Diamond Canvases, begun in 1963, exemplifies Neuman’s brief use of shaped canvases, popularly used by Kenneth Noland, Frank Stella, and Ellsworth Kelly.  Genova incorporates all the techniques, such as stamping, abstract symbolism and taping that are seen throughout all of the artist’s bodies of works. Man with a Pipe, from the Abstract Figure series, is a prime example of Neuman’s use of tape to build and reveal layers of paint within the composition. Neuman achieves the figure’s hard edge by applying graphite to the oil paint, another technique used across series’.

In addition to the exhibition at Star Gallery, Neuman recently had a solo show at the Art Complex Museum, Duxbury, MA featuring his Lame Deer Series. Neuman also had a major solo show entitled Robert S. Neuman’s Definition of Place: 1950-2012, which was his largest and most comprehensive exhibition to date. The show was on display at the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho and later traveled to the Prichard Art Gallery at the University of Idaho during Summer-Fall 2013. Neuman’s other recent shows include: Robert S. Neuman's Ship to Paradise at the Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington, NY, in Summer 2012, which traveled to Bates College in January 2013. 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, Hanover, NH and other national institutions.

Star Gallery Contact Info:

Star Gallery
6 Neighborhood Road
P.O. Box 55
Northeast Harbor, ME 04662

July and August
10am-6pm Monday through Saturday, 12pm-5pm on Sunday