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Robert A. Nelson: The Undiscovered Territory

beppu wiarda Gallery
Portland OR – Nov 1-30, 2007

Robert A. Nelson - His First Academy Award

Robert A. Nelson, His First Academy Award (2007), colored pencil/mixed media [beppu wiarda Gallery, Portland OR, Nov 1-30]


The provocative work of Robert A. Nelson is featured in The Undiscovered Territory, a new exhibition of drawings done in mixed-media and coloured pencil. This prolific yet under-recognized American artist has been the subject of over 150 solo exhibits during his lengthy career.

The fantastical imagery of his current exhibit is a reflection of specific aspects from myths, fairy tales and other curious histories. Nelson's detailed illustrative style encourages a considerable degree of believability despite the fact that his unmasked characters are engaged in very surreal scenarios. From allegorical creatures like the Tin Woodman from the Land of Oz, who appears in multiple pieces, to such legendary figures as George A. Custer, Harry Houdini and Frankenstein, he defines intricate imagined happenings that hint at deeper psychological states.

Robert A. Nelson - The Tin Woodman Barters Double A Quail Eggs for a Weeks Mail

Robert A. Nelson, The Tin Woodman Barters Double A Quail Eggs for a Weeks Mail (2007), colored pencil/mixed media [beppu wiarda Gallery, Portland OR, Nov 1-30]


These bizarre glimpses into dissonant narratives have the tone of medieval fables, although they are tempered by Nelson's plausible renditions. As he states, "No art fancier should ever have to completely give up the warmth of remembered child like visions." Images like the mouse pulling a thorn from a lion's paw resonate in our collective consciousness.

Nelson's work is in many prominent collections, including the Smithsonian Institute, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Seattle Art Museum. In 1961, he was awarded the Cézanne Medal from the City of Provence by the government of France.

www.beppugallery.com

Allyn Cantor

 Sun, Nov 11, 2007