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Robert Fry

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This young, London-based artist (born 1980) uses both painting and print-making to explore the theme of relationships, particularly ways of evoking emotional, sexual and psychological proximity through visual language.

Much of Fry's previous work has revolved around the motif of artist and subject, but in the body of paintings presented at his first solo show, the status of the figures he depicts, as well as the nature of their attachment, is far less determinate.

In each of these works two figures are depicted, all of them women, connected in the picture plane through an array of intriguing gestural devices that seem to symbolically denote the complexity of attachment on psychic as well as purely graphic levels. This sense of spatial as well as psychological interrogation is reinforced by multiple perspectives.

emerging artists to watchRobert Fry emerging contemporary art

At the same time, fleshy swathes of colour and crudely drawn breasts (often in multiple pairs) suggest an undercurrent of sexuality, although whether on the part of the artist, his subjects, or, indeed, both, is unclear.

Fry's complex painting ultimately resists easy interpretation, but what does seem obvious is that he has talent in abundance: a modernist sensibility paired with impressive painterly panache.

February 2009

 

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