Maryhill Museum of Art
Boston Master: Robert Douglas Hunter
Maryhill Museum of Art will present an exhibit of Robert Douglas Hunter paintings, from the Museum's permanent collection plus recent acquisitions of his work, from March 15 through November 15, 1998. The exhibit consists of still life paintings as well as still life objects directly from the artist's studio.
From left to right: Still Life with Three Lemons, 1963, 12 x 27 inches, oil on canvas; Still Life on a Damask Drape, 1997, 16 x 24 inches, oil on canvas; Polished Brass and Tarnished Copper, 1979, 16 x 33 inches, oil on canvas; The Chinese Bowl, 1958, 23 x 29 inches, oil on canvas.
The two displays work in tandem to reveal the complex interplay between solid forms and illusive light that Hunter strives to capture in his paintings. Juxtaposing the still life objects with the paintings presents a rare opportunity for the viewer to reflect upon the virtue of the pursuit and the sensitivity required to bring clarity to it.
Bom in Boston, Mass., in 1928, Robert Douglas Hunter studied at the Cape Cod School of Art under Henry Hensche; at the Vesper George School of Art; and with R.H. Ives Gammell; then turned away from a world strained by social and political revolt and focused instead on the clarity and harmony of classic realism painting.
As uncertain chaos raged about him during the cold war, the social turbulence of the 60s, and the violent war years ofthe 70s, Robert Douglas Hunter's quiet and reclusive nature concentrated on perfecting a restrained style of painting, reminiscent of Chardin and Ingres.
"Here is an artist who truly understands the harmony of color and reflections," said Josie De Falla, Director. "His love of close observation and vigilance of execution is apparent in every object he paints and in every composition he creates."
Robert Douglas Hunter is fascinated by the fixity of objects, their quality of just being there. By placing two or more objects next to one another he establishes a dialogue of beauty and light where form and content complement and reinforce each other. His uncompromising compositions show an uncanny intelligence deserving of serious contemplation.
"Still life is the one form of painting in which the subject is not considered superior to the painting itself. Robert Douglas Hunter's paintings certainly achieve that goal, in fact, in this exhibit the actual still life objects pale in comparison," said De Falla.
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