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Richard Roth and Robert Stuart


  • Reynolds Gallery 1514 West Main Street Richmond, VA (map)
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Reynolds Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Early Glass Paintings, an exhibition of Richard Roth’s large glass paintings from the 1970s. Also on view will be a selection of his recent plywood box paintings. The exhibition opens with a reception on Friday, March 16, and continues through April 27, 2018.

In 1969, Roth had just finished his undergraduate studies at the Cooper Union School of Art, and New York was brimming with Sol LeWitt’s graphic bands and the legacy of Piet Mondrian’s grids. Keeping in the style of 70’s geometric abstraction, Roth begins his career making large, abstract paintings on glass. Simple yet daring, the works are inspired by shop window’s painted advertisements—a nod to pop culture—and early techniques used in Medieval and Bavarian glass art. Roth hand-paints the reverse side of a glass sheet with enamel paint, constructing crisp compositions with contrasting colors, patchwork details, and gridded blocks. The result is a supremely matte paint transformed into a high gloss material. A reflective surface engages the viewer and space, activating the work as shiny object- like forms. This painted and sculptural duality allows Roth’s pieces to exist as uniquely distinct forms both two- and three-dimensional.

Further aligning painting and sculpture, Roth’s process manifests in birch plywood boxes. The boxes, measuring 12 x 8 x 4 inches or a slightly flattened variation, jut forth as mini-obstructions extending the traditional canvas. Roth explains that confining the paintings to set dimensions allows him freedom to challenge and reinvent within the structure. Toying with color, volume and line, he uses tape and paint to sketch out his preliminary designs. Roth then finalizes his angles and compositions in acrylic on birch plywood, and Minimalism and Op-Art influences emerge from his kaleidoscopic lines, cleverly distorting the boundary between dimensional and flat.

The California-based artist holds strong ties to Richmond, VA. As a Professor Emeritus at VCU, he taught in the Painting and Printmaking department from 1999 to 2015 and served as chair of the department for eight years. He received his BFA from The Cooper Union in New York and MFA from Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia. He has been an active artist since 1969, constructing glass and wood paintings for over forty years. In 1993, he shifted into a conceptual creating phase, solely collecting contemporary mass media products. After twelve years, he returned to physical art-making, synthesizing his previous interests in post-painterly abstraction and conceptually-based practice into a unified body of work that bridges both.

Roth is the co-editor of the book, Beauty is Nowhere: Ethical Issues in Art and Design and co-author of Color Basics, Design Basics 3D, and Design Basics 2D and 3D. In 2014, he was recognized in the book “100 Painters of Tomorrow,” a Thames and Hudson publication. He has received numerous awards including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship, the Virginia Commission for the Arts Fellowship, and the Ohio Arts Council Individual Artists Fellowship. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at Rocket Gallery, London; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond; the Museum of Modern Art, Saitama, Japan; SNO Contemporary Art Projects, Sydney, Australia; ART in Embassies, Vatican City; Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, Ohio; David Richard Gallery, Sante Fe, NM; ParisCONCRET, France; Highland Institute of Contemporary Art, Loch Ruthven, Scotland; Margaret Thatcher Projects, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among many others. His work is in several collections, including the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio; de Cordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA; Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana; Monroe Collection, Philip Morris USA, the VMFA, VCU School of Medicine, Martin Agency, Try- Me Collection, all, Richmond, Virginia; and Chase Manhattan Bank, First National City Bank, Markel Corporation and New York University, all, New York, New York. 

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Reynolds Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Linear Progressions, an exhibition of Robert Stuart’s recent collage paintings. The exhibition opens with a reception for the artist on Friday, March 16 from 7 – 9 pm, and continues through April 27, 2018.

In 1992, Stuart held his first solo show at Reynolds Gallery, consisting of eleven representational paintings of arranged bottles. Conveying a relatively ordinary subject, Stuart challenged each composition through form and tension. He captured the curve of a bottle or the edge of a table with generous applications of oil to build a wet, glossy surface. The paintings transcended still-lifes, becoming intense studies of subject and material surface in relation to light. In the late 90s, light took precedence as Stuart explored its quality through hyper-saturated, abstract oil paintings. Now, in his tenth solo exhibition at the gallery, Stuart demonstrates his mastery of light and color as the primary subject matter of his works. Stuart pushes luminous compositions through his primary technique of collaging, using narrow strips of oil and wax as collected material to form colored bands. The layered material does not result in a dense surface, rather it assumes an ethereal nature and exudes a mysterious glow. Concerning the new work, Stuart states “it feels like a change in the past couple years, a ‘freshening.’ Before, I’d only used collage on small scale paper; more recently I’ve used it more and

more, including on canvas as well, and on a larger scale. It encourages ‘trial-and-error.’ I search through my extensive piles of painted strips of paper, residue from years of demarcating bands and lines on larger canvases, and ‘find’ what I want rather than painting it. There’s a lot of putting it on, then removing it. A lot of searching for colors and textures, then measuring and cutting. Larger canvases may not use collage, but I think my procedure on them has been influenced by the discoveries with

collage.”

Stuart received his BFA from Boston University School for the Arts and his MFA from James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia (1977, 1984). Stuart is the recipient of major accolades including an Academy Award in Art from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York; a residency from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Sweet Briar, Virginia; and a Museum Purchase Award from the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC. His work has been exhibited widely at the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Art Prospects, both, New York; Mary Baldwin College and Staunton Augusta Art Center, both, Staunton, Virginia; Washington and Lee University DuPont Gallery, Lexington, VA; Woodbury Art Museum, Orem, UT; JB Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY; Virginia Historical Society and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia. His work is in the collections of the Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC; Hunter Museum of Art, Chattanooga, TN; Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, VA: Woodbury Art Museum, Orem, UT; Eleanor D. Wilson Museum, Hollins University, Hollins, VA; Bank of America and General Electric, both, Charlotte, NC; The Martin Agency, Markel Corporation, McGuire Woods, Medical College of Virginia, SunTrust, Philip Morris, and University of Richmond, all, Richmond, Virginia. Stuart lives and works in Staunton, VA.