Robert Hardgrave‘s paintings and mixed media works are as much about the process of creating as they are about the final work. He uses a wide variety of mediums and techniques to explore his ideas including ink, acrylic, thread, collage and burlap. Hardgrave sees the beginning of a composition as an unknown, the start of a conversation between himself and the process of art making.
This freedom allows him to destroy and rebuild the work until he’s arrived at the final destination, the final picture, the right question. It’s a difficult task. It needs discipline. Destroying existing beauty in an attempt to go higher and reach further requires guts.
Hardgrave’s work is full of motifs, appropriated from different cultures, in particular marks made on baskets, textiles and vessels. His love seems to reside in the artifact, the craft of peoples, the utilitarian aspects of a society. The irony of course is that he turns these motifs into something abstract, something modern and absolutely contemporary. Here’s what he has to say about his work:
My paintings are meditations on the unpredictability of life. Despite all the information we are given, I believe much is unknown to us in the moment, with clarity only achieved upon later reflection. My working process parallels this belief. There is never an overall plan or formula in my work, but allowing the imagery to manifest itself, it becomes an exercise in movement and a dedication to discovery. It is about the excitement in each evolving moment in life be it minute or grand and savouring it.
You can see Roberts work until 4th April, 2013 @ the Washington State Convention Center, 800 Convention Place, Seattle, Washington, USA