Approved: 23.02.2017

Robert Fitzmaurice

Artist

Approved: 23.02.2017

I am a visual artist whose output involves painting, mixed media and collage. My figurative style is fragmentary and references both the art of the past and contemporary culture. I usually work in series with each work involving an interplay between one or more figures and ambiguous forms in order to invoke a particular mood, e.g. contemplative, melancholy, or dramatic. The figures operate in a shallow, theatrical space and tend to possess the frontality and expressive shorthand common to votive art of all cultures. These elements combine to suggest an absurd universe where meaning is fluid and open to interpretation.

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      Artist Statement

      I am a visual artist whose output involves painting, mixed media and collage. My figurative style is fragmentary and references both the art of the past and contemporary culture. I usually work in series with each work involving an interplay between one or more figures and ambiguous forms in order to invoke a particular mood, e.g. contemplative, melancholy, or dramatic. The figures operate in a shallow, theatrical space and tend to possess the frontality and expressive shorthand common to votive art of all cultures. These elements combine to suggest an absurd universe where meaning is fluid and open to interpretation.

      Often I will start a series of works with an idea inspired by something recently seen or read. Other times I may work more instinctively from images found in books, postcards, the cinema or online. I may also start a new work by tracing an old drawing, or the overpainting and collaging of earlier works, especially proof prints and print matrices. The composition is then subjected to a number of revisions and embellishments. The paint layers involve open brushwork, impasto and glazes, and are often further modified by the introduction of sand, sawdust or collage elements. Colour decisions are driven by the emotional tone and to balance the composition.

       I am very interested in how the mind assigns value to imagination and experience and how these meet to produce a work or art. My tendency to simplify, filter and truncate is in response to the fragmented and bewildering surfeit of images available to contemporary audiences. Artists of different periods and cultures have used the human figure in order to convey a narrative or personify a concept. By referencing the formal potency of these otherwise outmoded and compromised systems I wish to draw attention to a common ground, or sometimes a point of departure, in order to highlight the absurdities that continue to divide us. The power dynamics of childhood, family and rites of passage feature strongly as I consider they have a universal significance that transcends religion, myth or dogma. 

      Originally from Coventry I studied Fine Art in Sunderland before moving to Reading in 1984 for my MFA. After years of making art around a day-job I became a full-time artist in 2015. I hold a studio in the town at OpenHand OpenSpace and participate regularly in exhibitions nationally and internationally.

      CV & Education

      BACKGROUND AND EDUCATION

      1960 Born Nuneaton, Warwickshire, United Kingdom
      Since 1984 lives and works in Reading, Berkshire

      1984-86 University of Reading, MFA (Painting)
      1983-84 Studio with Sunderland Artists Group
      1980-83 Sunderland Polytechnic, BA (Hons) Fine Art (First Class)
      1979-80 Coventry Lanchester Polytechnic

      SOLO EXHIBITIONS

      2018 Companion Pieces, no format Gallery, Deptford (October)
      2018 Soldier, Sandham Memorial Chapel, Burghclere
      2017 To & Fro ??, Peacock Gallery, Reading
      2016 The peace which passes..., OHOS, Reading
      2013 The Heart’s Long Coast, More Arts, Wokingham
      2011 Recent paintings, Meller Merceux Gallery, Oxford
      2011 From here on in, Corn Exchange, Newbury
      1988 Artist of the Day, Angela Flowers Gallery, London

      SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

      2018
      Imago, OHOS, Reading
      Diptych, Triptych, Polyptych, PS Mirabel, Manchester
      Open Exhibition, NN Contemporary, Northampton

      2017
      Winter Salon: Power Play, The Concept Space, London
      Rye Winter Salon, Rye Creative Centre, Rye, Sussex
      SFSA Painting Open, No Format Gallery, London
      Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London
      As it stands, 100 Years Gallery, London
      Small World, PS Mirabel, Manchester
      New Prints / Summer, IPC, New York
      Chaos, Contrasts, Change, OHOS, Reading

      2016

      4th Intl Juried Print, New Grounds Gallery, Albuquerque, New Mexico
      Shifting States, Espacio Gallery, London
      Innervisions, International Print Center, New York
      RA Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London
      Spectrum, PS Mirabel, Manchester

      2015
      MONO II, Espacio Gallery, London
      Desire Lines, OHOS, Reading
      Print as Verb, OHOS, Reading
      Colour & Materials, Espacio Gallery, London
      TwitterArtExhibit, Moss, Norway

      2014
      Heaven + Hell, Espacio Gallery, London
      Hanging Tough, OHOS, Reading
      A Book about Death, Royal Cambrian Society, Wales
      Constellation, Reading Museum and Art Gallery
      Original Print Fair, Espacio Gallery, London

      2013
      Strata, Espacio Gallery, London
      Emergence, Espacio Gallery, London

      2012

      Original Print Fair, Espacio Gallery, London
      Face to Face, Espacio Gallery, London
      Viewpoints, Espacio Gallery, London
      Echo, OHOS, Reading

      2011
      Would you like and why not? OHOS, Reading
      Take off, New Greenham Arts Centre, Newbury
      Send Me A Postcard Darling, The Red Gate Gallery, London
      NUIT BLANCHE: Parcel Fever, OHOS, Reading

      2009
      KAMIEN (Stone) e-mail Art Project, MOKSiR Chelmek, Poland

      1994-2000
      Numerous shows at the Jelly Leg'd Chicken Gallery, Reading

      1988
      Berkshire Artists Group Show, Windsor Arts Centre
      1987
      Four Painters, Darlington Arts Centre
      Take Six, Chisenhale Studios, London

      1986
      Three Painters, Cleveland Gallery, Middlesborough
      1983
      Sunderland Artists Group Show, Washington Arts Centre
      Northern Artists, Gallery Seven, Newcastle
      Tyne Tees Northern Open, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle and tour
      Whitworth Young Contemporaries, Manchester
      1982
      Engelsk Grafikk, Gallery F15, Norway

      AWARDS
      2017 Oppenheim-John Downes Memorial Trust
      1983 Purchase prize, Tyne Tees Northern Open
      1982 First prize in Magnolia Mouldings National Landscape Competition

      CURATION AND PROJECTS
      2016 WordUp! Multi-site collaboration with Peter Driver for Reading's Year of Culture
      2013 Curation and installation of Searching, Always @Gallery49, Bracknell

      COLLECTIONS
      Sunderland University
      Magnolia Mouldings
      Reading University
      Angela Flowers Gallery
      Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts
      And private collections in UK, Europe and China


      PUBLICATIONS, TALKS & MEDIA

      2018: SOLDIER: art & poetry with readings by Adrian Blamires, Sandham Memorial Chapel
      2018: Editorial Team selection for ArtMaze Mag, issue 6, January
      2017: Featured image in Discerning Eye catalogue
      2016: Forms of Exchange, talk on the journey from source to motif, New Greenham Arts
      2015: Eliza's Entertainments, images to accompany poetry by Adrian Blamires
      2015: Cover to Cover, a sketchbook project, ISBN 978-0-9932232-1-1
      2014: Interview on the Palette Pages
      2014: Transformations, a contemporary working of Ovid's Metamorphoses, ISBN 978-1-292-68852-8
      2014: Heaven + Hell, exhibition catalogue with an introductory essay by Anna McNay
      2012: FAD News Q&A
      2010: FROM HERE ON IN exhibition catalogue, with an introductory essay by Adrian Blamires
      1988: Artist of the Day, exhibition catalogue, Angela Flowers Gallery