“Private Viewing,” an exhibition of new work by sculptor Robert Lobe, will be on view at the West Broadway Gallery from January 12 to March 12, 2018. There will an opening reception on Friday, January 12 from 6-8 pm.
In his first solo show at the gallery, Lobe will present a series of 10 new sculptures, alongside the seminal wall relief “Untitled, Chesterwood” from 1985, that display his long-term investigation of the natural world. Deftly turning process into form, he has been hammering metal around rocks and trees in the woods for over 40 years, developing a kinesthetic realism of his own invention. Lobe has addressed environmental issues in his work since the 1970s, from the coast of Nova Scotia to the Adirondacks, to the Appalachians, and to to the Berkshires.
“In making us aware of our often exploitative approach to the environment and the resulting dire consequences, Lobe confronts us with many questions as to the true meaning of our relationship with nature and the propriety of our stewardship,” said Charlotta Kotik, Curator Emerita, Brooklyn Museum. “His compositions are imbued with meaning deeper than the sum of their parts, dealing with the issues of composition and structure in art as well as those of representation. They also bring to mind the ideas of the Transcendentalists and other early American philosophical constructs as well as our never-ending national dialogue with and very real dependency on nature."
Lobe’s marriage with the forest also has roots in the Earth art of the seventies, while the artist long ago rejected that movement’s site-specific restrictions. Lobe’s recent sculptures are much like field reports from adventures of discovery in a forest lab doubling as studio, canvas and text. Working with different metals, alloys and techniques, the artist turns a walk in the woods into a walk into the imagination.
Among the works included in this exhibition are “Before the Snow”, a galvanized iron and stainless steel wall sculpture which unites the silence of late fall with the still of winter. “Buds”, a budding branch in the shape of ancient script holds fast a boulder in a gravity-less world. A formidable back-to-back landscape of a massive sinewy root winding its path among boulders, “Kittatinny Double Lie”, brings the lie of the land into dramatic contrast. In “Vernissage”, “Gorget”, “Photosynthesis” and “Missing Rock National Monument,” Lobe utilizes a new casting technique he calls “splashed aluminum”, where he drops molten metal to create beautiful, detailed patterns of seemingly random chaos.
Accompanying the sculptures is a series of pen and ink drawings of the Statue of Liberty made after 9/11 on Liberty Island, along with a series of hammered intaglio monoprints that are embedded with wafer thin castings of thrown aluminum.
About Robert Lobe
Robert Lobe is an American sculptor born Detroit, Michigan in 1945. Lobe grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and attended Oberlin College and Hunter College. Lobe’s early works were included in the “Anti-Illusion: Procedures and Materials” exhibition at the Whitney Museum in 1969. The focus of Lobe's work is the passage of time and regeneration of nature, forces of nature and how they're manifested visually, and random distribution. Lobe uses repoussé, a method of forming pieces of metal around an object, the same method used to create the Statue of Liberty. In Lobe's case, the metal sheets are "pushed and pulled" around outcroppings in the woods. His hammered metal sculptures, mostly in aluminum, have been represented by Willard, Blum Helman and Senior and Shopmaker galleries in New York. A survey of large wall reliefs were featured at Grounds for Sculpture in 2015, and an exhibition of 5 outdoor works were shown in the forest around the Mohonk Preserve Visitors Center the same year. Currently, Lobe’s work is showing in "New York Silver, Then and Now," which runs until June 2018 at The Museum of the City of New York. Lobe’s art is housed in many public collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, Brooklyn Museum and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Museum of Fine Art in Houston, the National Gallery in D.C and the Mihama-cho Public Sculpture Program in Japan.
About West Broadway Gallery
Founded in 2016 by artist Neil Jenney, West Broadway Gallery’s mission is to exhibit Realism and Abstraction of the idealized sort. In addition to Jenney and Lobe, artists exhibited in past gallery exhibitions include Kathleen Gilje, Joseph McNamara, Mercer Tullis and John Duff. West Broadway Gallery is open Friday through Sunday, 11:00am-6:00pm and by appointment. www.westbroadwaygallery.com
West Broadway Gallery
Susan Grant Lewin Associates
P: 212 947 4557