Life and the human experience is at centre of dramatic new artwork

blackShed Gallery new show - Shrouds by Robert Sample
blackShed Gallery new show - Shrouds by Robert Sample

The blackShed gallery presents latest work by St Leonards artist Robert Sample in a new exhibition Shrouds which opens tomorrow, on Saturday May 12, and runs until June 23.

Sample has exhibited extensively in London as well as abroad. His paintings explore a world that has strong visual references to earlier masters and styles, but is rooted in the present, combining dynamic elements of street art with contrasting traditional techniques.

He returns to the blackShed gallery in Robertsbridge with work that promises to deliver a new vigour in his painting practice after a short period away from his south coastal studio.

Life and the human experience has always been his subject matter and it is his deft observations beautifully rendered in conflict with his bold gestures that create the drama in his works that keep drawing us back. This contrast in approaches has an almost erratic quality, that in combination with his floating groundless compositions gives an impression that Robert hopes suggests a dream-like state. These themes have always been built upon the history of painting that Sample treats as both a challenge and a celebration in his own work. By drawing on the old Masters there has always been a vein of religious iconography through Sample’s painting and an appropriation of signifiers of otherworldliness that he incorporates for their powerful aesthetic quality,

BlackShed owner and curator Kenton Lowe commented: “So very pleased to see Robert again. His work is always challenging but he is truly a fine painter of unapologetic figurative works; works that do not rely on irony or nostalgia to create a strong image.

“His paintings maintain an inherently wonderful amalgamation of texture, colour, light, dark and gesture. Each mark has a story either laboured or with a flourish, and it is that evidence of the artist’s hand building layers of paint with an honest intention to make something that has a history in line with a small part of his own. Robert’s paintings also have a sense of deterioration, a sense of a life.”

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