All photos by Ruben Diaz
March 17 - April 8, 2017
Monte Vista Projects presents a continuing series of works by Alex Robbins called “Complements.”
Meticulous copies of early modernist paintings, these works are executed in the complementary colors of the originals. The paintings on exhibit here concentrate on the female nude as painted by artists Christian Rohlfs (1849 - 1938), Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841 - 1919), Walter Sickert (1860-1942), and Willem De Kooning (1904 - 1997).
The nude painting has historically been an object of desire, titillation, and ownership. It is perhaps only through the history of painting that a naked body can be considered nude. As the nude became cemented as a standard motif, the painters color sense concurrently emerged as arguably their most irreducible subjective quality, a foothold for individuality. Inverting the narrative space of the paintings color by color, brushstroke by brushstroke, Robbins’ “complements” destroy and fetishize the subjective process developed by the original artists. The nudity is laid bare, unprotected by natural light.
Also included is a non-color inverted replication of a work by society painter John Singer Sargent (1856 - 1925). “Mrs. Carl Meyer and her Children” is a famed family portrait in the collection of the Tate Britain. The exacting replication acts as a kind of inane but playful doubling whereby artifice investigates art. Next to the inverted nudes, this work seems uncannily protected by clothing and light.
Alex Robbins is an artist and educator working in Los Angeles, CA. Recent exhibitions of his work have appeared at Atlas House (Ipswich, UK), Commonwealth and Council, (Los Angeles, CA), Luckman Fine Arts Complex - CSU LA, (Los Angeles, CA). He is also the curator of a small experimental exhibition space called The Window located at 1909 7th Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90016.