The Quicksilver Mine Co.
© Sonoma's Own
The Galaxy Series & Other Paintings
Robert McChesney Exhibits at Quicksilver
June 10 — July 17, 2005
"My painting is abstract, not non-objective. When I begin...it is complete chaos. Then I begin to organize the whole thing…a move from non-objectivity to objectivity. It is always about bringing order from chaos." So says Petaluma artist Robert McChesney, who opens a one-man exhibition of recent and older work at the Quicksilver Mine Co. on June 10th.
McChesney, considered one of the leading figures of American Modernism, concentrated on form and color when most were doing rural landscapes. For his show at Quicksilver he will exhibit work from his Galaxy series, oil on wood paintings invoking galaxies in space as well as the inner galaxies of the body—vessel and cell shaped forms swirling in a nebula of colors. He will also present a selection of older work, including paintings done with sand mixed into paint, with bone, and with shards of glass. "I get certain elements on the wood and mess around and find out how it works. I try to do the most beautiful thing I possibly can. They are all abstractions. They come from my mind, but when you look around at all the beauty around us, it can’t help but stick with you," he says.
Robert McChesney attended Otis Arts Institute in Los Angeles in the 1930’s; worked in the mural division of the WPA in San Francisco from 1938—1940; and served in the Merchant Marine (Pacific Theater) for four years in the early 40’s. He taught at the California School of Fine Arts; lived in Mexico; and finally settled on Sonoma Mountain (Petaluma) with his wife, sculptor Mary Fuller, where they built a house and art studios in 1952. His work has been exhibited at the Triangle Gallery (San Francisco), the Whitney Museum in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Oakland Museum, the San Jose Museum of Art, Natsoulas Gallery (Davis), Michael Rosenfeld Gallery (New York), and Robert Green Fine Arts in Mill Valley.
"The importance of the artist is his boldness…his ability to work without fear of making and using new discoveries, new developments, new directions, his ability to know the importance of and to utilize invention and improvisation. In this and all of my painting, I have attempted to realize these ideas and to involve the paintings in the mysteries of the unconscious as well as the conscious world."
click on images for larger views
RobertMcChesney’s Exhibition at Quicksilver, The Galaxy Series & Other Paintings, opens with a Reception for the Artist on Saturday June 11 from 4—6 p.m. The Show continues through July 17th.