Robert Szot‘s paintings follow in the great American modernist tradition and the color field paintings of Abstract Expressionist painters such as Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Richard Diebenkorn and Helen Frankenthaler. Each image rich and vibrant, the layers of paint rising out of the picture plane, dense oozing pigment merging and coalescing to create an intense pictorial abstraction that appeals to our senses and emotional relationship to light, form and colour.
And while these paintings are very much rooted in a American 20th Century tradition, that rose out of a post war need to create a modern, mythical art that expressed a yearning for transcendence and the infinite, they are very much of the present, his aesthetic eschewing trends and fashion and instead looking and exploring the craft and act of painterly technique.
This dedication to mark making for its own sake and his ability to play with large monochrome colour fields atop denser and more intricate bold hues give birth to a mysterious image that creates space for us to wallow in, reminds us that there is more to the world than rational materialism, that there is room for the unknown, the inexplicable, the abstract and dynamic glory of colour and form. Here’s what Paul Weiner of the Critique Collective has to say about Sotz’s paintings:
Szot does not shy away from beauty or painterly skill, instead pushing lyrical abstraction forward while rejecting the ever-present pull of zombie formalism. His work is hard to pin down, evincing canonical references in his formal techniques and relationship with beauty and music that seem connected with the abstraction of Synchromist artists such as Stanton Macdonald-Wright or Morgan Russell, a movement that predated Abstract Expressionism by 30 years. Regardless, the clearest position in Szot’s work is a deadly sentimentality, the kind of pride in the American painting lineage that leaves Szot’s work poetic, vibrant, emotional, and unapologetically divorced from the often-cold embrace of contemporary painting paradigms.
Robert Szot lives and works in Brooklyn. He has exhibited throughout America and internationally. Szot has shown with The Painting Center and Melody Weir in New York and with the Saatchi Gallery in London. His work can be found in private collections worldwide.