4/14/2020

Artist Spotlight

Bruce Robinson:
Forerunners

Contemporary Art Matters is proud to present an exhibition of Bruce Robinson, a Columbus, OH based artist whose brilliant and beautiful works combine concerns with contemporary culture, sports, music, art and African American history. Robinson’s solo exhibition Forerunners will be on view April 16th through May 29th, with a reception Thursday, May 28th from 5-8pm.

While the artist has a broad practice that includes ready-mades and ocular works, this exhibition will focus on his paintings on shaped plywood panels. In the works Shibuya, Nexus, and Divers, there is a tenuous yet graceful delineation of the subjects; so much material is cut away that they resemble line drawings. Robinson sees his project as taking an everyday common material like plywood and transforming it into supple, rhythmic imagery. All three of these works feature two figures joined together in some way, in a sense each of these works illustrate the connections between their subjects.

Bruce Robinson Shibuya 2019, Aniline dye on shaped plywood, 32 x 21 1/2 inches

Shibuya was inspired by a trip to Tokyo, where Robinson witnessed two people walking with their heads bent and eyes glued upon cellphones who collided head on, and then wordlessly and without looking up, moved around one another and back on their separate ways. The piece captures the brief moment that the two strangers were physically connected, yet completely distant and isolated from one another, performing a sort of contemporary life dance. The shape formed above them suggests that they are also connected by their technology as we all are now.

Bruce Robinson Nexus 2017, Oil on shaped plywood, 46 x 24 inches

Nexus depicts dancers engaged in a tandem performance; bodies caught at a point of exertion joined together only by their touching hands. Here Robinson is pushing the limits of the material to a maximum that reinforces the imagery; leaving only two points of contact holding the whole piece together, creating both a literal physical and metaphorical visual nexus between the two bodies.

Bruce Robinson Divers 2010, Oil on shaped plywood, 44 x 22 1/2 inches

The figures in Divers are more connected in appearance, they are joined together at so many points that it takes awhile to mentally disentangle them. The two figures feel to be pushing against one another, competitively struggling to both achieve their goal, and yet separate from one another. They are connected in this moment, but much like the figures in Shibuya, we imagine they will soon repel away.

We look forward to welcoming people into the gallery in the future, for now the exhibition is online on our website Contemporaryartmatters.com, or on Artsy.

View Full Exhibition