A night with Robert Spellman

Robert Spellman, Parking Garage behind Quinton’s

June 7, 2012

Enter Spellman’s show down the steep ramp.

Review by Rachel

June 14, 2012

A week ago, Robert Spellman rented out an underground garage in the East Village for a one night showing of his most recent paintings. The selected space allowed you to descend on the show from a steep ramp. A year’s worth of new work hung in a curve, wrapping around the perimeter of the garage. His colors looked clean and comfortable next to the oil stained concrete floor. Lots of greens, yellows and pinks sitting thick on the surface of his handmade canvases.

(Left to Right) “Ladies at Lunch” Oil on Canvas 85.5” x67.5”, “Figure” Oil on Canvas 96.5” x 42.5”

The show explores three concepts of composition and color juxtaposition. First, gestural chunks of color fill the canvas to the edge of the frame. Then similar forms are given more room and allowed to hang in negative white space. The third exploration transforms the color palette in the gestural compositions into vertical skinny horizons. The verticals interrupted throughout the curve of Spellman’s work. I felt a visual beat being created while moving between each painting. 

"Untitled" Acrylic on Canvas 74.5" x 50"

Spellman is not shading or fading his colors for depth. Everything is right up in the foreground. The paint looked good enough to chew on. I was seeing piles of food in his compositions of loosely splattered shapes.  The energy in the colors and shapes are rich and sloppy like an overindulgent shmorgishborg. Multiple times, titles like “On early spring” and “Ladies at Lunch” pulled me back to a more polite viewing of the work. 

Spellman (with camera) and guests 

This was a great evening and a fun space for a show. Well done! Robert Spellman builds and paints in a store front in the Western Gateway between Dorthea’s Closet and the B Modern Studio. Spot a painting from the show in his studio’s window when you are leaving downtown on Grand. See all the paintings from the show on his website. Take a look and then contact Spellman for an appointment to see ‘em in person. www.robertspellmanstudio.com

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