Robin Denevan at Addington Gallery

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River Perspectives: Encaustic Paintings from the Yangtze and Amazon
New Work by Robin Denevan

River Paths Triptych, oil and encaustic on wood panels, 102 x 68

 “The impact of these pieces in the gallery is powerful. They are beautiful, and the multi-paneled encaustics are the most striking of all. Denevan hopes his paintings are more than just a visual experience, and he has succeeded in this goal. The paintings make one think of a land far, far away and cause one to want to jump a plane to the Orinoco Delta in Venezuela.”  – Rachel Turney,  NEW CITY

“The surfaces of these pictures offer gratifications in and of themselves. Tree and grass forms are, for example, cut into the paint that, at times, almost billows around them. So there is some of the tactile sense of working in low wooden reliefs, which gives a rusticity to the more refined pleasures of the beeswax.”  – Alan Artner, CHICAGO TRIBUNE

On July 9, Addington Gallery will present an exhibition of new work by artist Robin Denevan entitled “River Perspectives: Encaustic Paintings from the Yangtze and Amazon.”

Denevan, an encautic artist, employs layers of beeswax, oil paint, and natural resins to create visions of exotic locations-  from Asia and South America. The paintings “glow” with an intense heat, and transcend realism. This is not a painting of a river journey, but a painting of the memory of a river journey.

Denevan has journeyed, in small, rickety boats, down some of the most exotic and tropical rivers on the earth. He doesn’t photograph, he just sketches with charcoal and absorbs the experience. Only when he returns home does he seriously render the sights. This recent series is based on travels down the Amazon and China’s Yangtze River. Although the river journeys have similarities, the technique, compositon and palette of colors in the work has evolved, giving this series a distinct feel.

Tidal Study: Red, oil on aluminum, 12 x 24

Robin Denevan’s latest work was inspired by his travels to China’s Yunnan Province, and an area of Yangtze River that will soon be changed with the creation of a water dam.  It was a final opportunity to see such a magnificent and haunting landscape, and these studies were done  during the dry season, when sandbars and islands cut the river into many paths.

This series references similarities between the sweeping contours of the Yangtze, and the serpentine channels of the Amazon River in South America.  Though the two are vastly different, the subject of the river creates a theme of a constant force that carves and sculpts the landscape.

The “glow” of the paintings, mentioned above (and can’t really be seen in this pictures) has been heightened with the addition of burnished sheets of aluminum , along with the resin and wax – all materials that enjoy a special and unique relationship with light.

Denevan’s paintings skip visual memory and tap directly into his sensory recall. You don’t just look at a Denevan, you feel it.

Addington Gallery is located at 704 N Wells St in the River North Gallery District of Chicago. Please contact the gallery for more information and images.

Tidal Study: Amazon, oil on aluminum, 12 x 24

Addington Gallery
704 N Wells St
Chicago, IL 60654

Opening reception: Friday, July 9, 5-8pm
Exhibition dates: July 9 – August 30, 2009

Gallery hours: 11-6, Tuesday through Saturday