Works by Willie Robertson will be exhibited throughout January in the AEGON Gallery at Centre College.
The exhibit is titled “Kentucky Landscape Paintings: Image/Object, Depiction/Abstraction.” Judith Pointer Jia, the Charles T. Hazelrigg Associate Professor of Art at Centre, called the works “gorgeous landscapes.”
“The painter is originally from Lexington and now lives in Lancaster,” Jia noted. “His undergrad is from the Chicago Art Institute and his MFA is from the University of Kentucky” Jia explained. “He’s in his 30s and makes his living as a carpenter. The paintings are large, gorgeous landscapes painted on location with titles such as Upper Red River and Auxier Ridge From Double Arch.
“They are slightly unconventional in a couple of ways: They are large — 4-feet by 6-feet — and painted outdoors. They merge landscape with abstract expressionism. He does a loose, expressionistic, initial painting on-site in acrylic paint. The canvas is then brought back to the studio for finishing and details with oils. Visitors to the show will see the canvases affixed with grommets and pegs to beautifully crafted stretchers and frames. The grommets assist the artist in securing his canvas while painting outdoors.”
Jia added while many of Robertson’s works are in the traditional landscape genre, “several manage to integrate quilt imagery into the landscape.”
“Three six-foot-round frames hang from the ceiling and hold double sided canvases — one side a traditional landscape, the other, a landscape with quilt patterning shining as a sunrise or peeking through the trees,” Jia explianed. “Two wall pieces appear to be sleeping bags with exteriors of painted canvas, lined with quilts made by the artist’s grandmother.”