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San Marco
 

12/04/24 - 27/04/24

John Robertson

Press Release
Haricot Gallery is delighted to present ‘San Marco’, a solo exhibition of new paintings by John Robertson.
 
Robertson's work meditates on the formation of pictorial space. While drawing inspiration from various periods in painting's history, most notably late modernist abstraction, it consistently returns to a fifteenth century fresco as its primary source – Fra Angelico's Annunciation in cell three of the Convent of San Marco (now the San Marco Museum) in Florence. Of particular interest is the tonal and chromatic proximity of the image and the wall resulting in an oscillation between flatness and architectural space - a wall becoming an image; an image becoming a wall.
 
The works in San Marco at Haricot Gallery take Fra Angelico's cue somewhat literally, allowing the wall directly into the work in various ways. The pieces are formed over a long development period, with Robertson gradually refining and shifting form and colour as he progresses . Compositional decisions extend to the shape of the stretcher itself - he talks about how one of the options he has for a particular area of a painting is that it disappears and becomes the wall again. When this is the case, he un-stretches the canvas, cuts the desired area out, and
re-stretches the canvas over the new form.
 
A new development in the most recent work sees the aluminium flat bar remain after an area has been removed. These bars, which are used to construct the sides of the shaped stretchers, become a new kind of pentimenti, a ghost of former forms. For Robertson, the paintings are beginning to be exposed, literally turned inside out. The artist refers to this development as 'the closest thing I could get to just leaving the edge, or to just leaving the shadow it casts.'
List of Works
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