Robert Lange, August 2011
Opening August 5, 5-8 pm
Lange is investigating the relationship between people and the natural world that surrounds them using his popular trompe l’oeil vocabulary
CHARLESTON, S.C. – “In Harmony” is a collection of 16 new paintings from local hyperrealist and owner of Robert Lange Studios, artist Robert Lange. In his ninth solo show in Charleston, Lange is investigating the relationship between people and the natural world that surrounds them using his popular trompe l’oeil vocabulary. The reception will be held from 5-8PM on August 5 and is open to the public.
Trompe l’oeil (a French term meaning “deceive the eye”) is an art technique involving extremely realistic imagery in order to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects appear in three dimensions. Lange is known for paintings depicting taped up paintbrushes, photos, scissors, and even an iPhone.
Lange says, “I am consistently fascinated by the effect of trompe l’oeil paintings on the viewer. In this new body of work, I wish to use the formula of depicting the subject on top of the background in narrative painting. My hope is that by taking two separate realities, coexisting on the same surface, these paintings will allow for a new subject matter to be achieved, which is the combination of foreground and background.”
To achieve this effect in the title painting, “In Harmony,” Lange created a background that consists of a densely populated, meticulously painted canopy of ash trees. Through the use of a painted shadow, a pair of woman’s legs are seemingly lying on top of the misted forest.
“In this painting, I chose to investigate the subject of feminine grace. It was my intention to associate the beauty found in the delicate slender branches of the swaying ash trees with the romantic qualities of the female form laying on top,” said Lange.
In another painting, “Nightlife,” the background consists of a sports bar narrative in which two people are interacting around pool tables and cast under the blue neon lights of multiple beer signs. Painted on top of this seemingly typical Friday night situation is a barn owl in mid-flight.
Lange says, “I think it is interesting that the term nightlife congers up an image of loud, crowded, drinks-all-round kind of establishments. Meanwhile, at this exact same time of night, you can find an angelic owl, so awe inspiring in their magnificence, flying amongst our backyards. In this piece it is the contrast between these two realities I hope the viewer thinks about.”
Lange has tackled some large existential ideas in this new body of work including grace, new beginnings, and change, by painting moments that are both self-empowering and vulnerable.
A festive reception open to the public will be held on August 5, starting at 5PM featuring wine, hors d’oeuvres, and music.