Chelsea, NYC: Viridian Artists is pleased to present a retrospective of works by Bob Tomlinson. The exhibit opens October 2nd with a reception on Saturday October 6th, 3-6 p.m. The work will be on view through October 20th. The artist will be at the gallery on Saturday, October 20th, the final day of the exhibit, for coffee and conversation from 3-4 p.m.
There are two kinds of artists, a Picasso who is constantly changing his style and a Balthus who is relatively stylistically stable. The first case does not exclude recurrent themes and a recognizable mark, nor does the second exclude a subtle stylistic evolution. Tomlinson’s art is somewhere between the two. One of the joys of a retrospective is that it allows both the viewer and the artist to reflect on recurrent elements and themes in the work.
In Tomlinson’s art, it is not far-fetched to see echoes of the early woodcuts in the graphic style of his later works. His abstract collages prepare the viewer for the collage passages of the later oil and collage paintings. Beyond variations of style and media, in Tomlinson’s paintings there is an ongoing concern with the human body as the primary expressive tool. Faces are turned away and except for the portraits, we seldom see the eyes. Ignoring the traditional distinction between naturalistically depicted figures and abstract forms, the sensuous color and bold, sinuous contours of this artist’s elusive and lyrical paintings play on the tension between figurative references and abstracted shapes.
Tomlinson is a Jamaican-American artist born in Brooklyn, New York. He has shown widely in Paris, London, Amsterdam and New York and is represented in many international public and private collections including those of the Clark-Atlanta University Museum, City University of New York, the late Dr. Maya Angelou, Sir Shean McConnell, Lord and Lady Hirshfield, Sr. Franco Trecanni, Mme Linda Weil-Curiel and Herr Frits Bernard.
A graduate of Pratt Institute and the CUNY Graduate Center, Tomlinson is also a scholar of French Literature and Aesthetics and has lectured and published in both disciplines, as well as in Afro-American Studies. He figures in the books, 100 New York Painters by Cynthia M. Dantzic (Schiffer, 2006) andBlack Paris Profiles by Monique E. Wells (2012) and is one of the artists studied in a recent Masters Thesis by Charlotte Barat, Artistes Noirs Américains à Paris (1945-1969), (Université de Paris I, Panthéon- Sorbonne, 2014). He is also the subject of a film project by well-known documentary filmmaker Louis Massiah.