Encountering a Robin Denevan painting is a multi-sensory experience. This artist finds his motivation in his drawings and memories of trips to various exotic locations. Recent paintings find their origins in journeys down the Amazon and China's Yangtze River.
Robin Denevanís latest work was inspired in part by his travels to China's Yunnan Province. His paintings are based on drawings he did of the Yangtze River in an area that will soon be dammed and flooded. It was a unique opportunity to see such a magnificent and haunting landscape. He did these studies during the dry season when sandbars and islands cut the river into many paths.
Eschewing the use of a camera as a tool of reference, Denevan relies solely on the charcoal and sketchbooks he brings with him as he and a guide explore these mighty rivers together in small boats and canoes. Focusing on the shifting shapes before him, Denevan recognized similarities between the sweeping contours of the Yangtze and the serpentine channels of the Amazon from drawings he had done in South America. Though the two are vastly different, the subject of the river as a constant force that carves and sculpts the landscape was overwhelming.
Denevan returned with his drawings to his studio, and began the alchemical act of creating his organically textured paintings using beeswax, resin, oil paint, and most recently, burnished sheets of aluminum Ė all materials that enjoy a special and unique relationship with light.
Denevanís paintings are not about mere recollection. They are about sensory recall. You don't just look at a Denevan, you touch it, smell it, nearly taste it. The layers of seductive materials in these works engage our senses, and in doing so, they drop us, not into the location depicted, but into the artist's own vivid memories of that place.
View images from the exhibition below Artist biography and reviews.
Sun Spots, 21x21, encaustic (wax, oil)
Light on the Yangtze, 21x21, encaustic (wax, oil)
Autumn Passage, 21x21, encaustic (wax, oil)
Amazon River, 21x21, encaustic (wax, oil)
Shifting Isles, 21x21, encaustic (wax, oil)
Serpentine, 21x30, encaustic (wax, oil)
Golden Tributaries, 30x30, encaustic (wax, oil)
Lavendar and Indigo, 30x30, encaustic (wax, oil)
Tranquil Passage, 42x42, encaustic (wax, oil)
Emerging Patterns, 42x42, encaustic (wax, oil)
River Mangroves, 68x42, encaustic (wax, oil)
Golden Canopy, 30x68, encaustic (wax, oil)
Above Brazil, 21x21, encaustic (wax, oil)
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