Robert January's figural works open at Fairfield University's Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery September 16 through December 6


 

Image: Tracey in Her New Gray Dress"Art & Human Consciousness," a solo exhibition of paintings, drawings and photography by internationally recognized artist Robert January opens at the Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery, Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield University on Wednesday, Sept. 16 with a public reception from 6 to 8 p. m. The artist will attend the opening. A forty-page illustrated color catalogue including an essay from Fairfield University Professor of art history Philip Eliasoph accompanies the exhibition, which continues through Sunday, Dec. 6, 2009. Admission to the gallery is free.

Dr. Diana Mille, Gallery director and curator of the exhibition touched the essence of this artist's vitality when she described the work in "Art & Human Consciousness" thus: "January focuses on the intimate act of drawing and its unique role in the development of human consciousness and art making."

Inspired by prehistoric art from the Sahara and Chihuahua deserts, January's profound respect for the vibrancy of the ancient works he has visited, studied and learned from became the impetus for his achievements. Mille sees a link between this contemporary artist and the primitives, "Both art forms - prehistoric and January's - ask significant philosophical questions: What makes drawing so distinctive and urgent? What are the philosophical implications of drawing from life? Does this have significant meaning and consequences outside the art community?"

"The great prehistoric art was made by humans who understood their subjects from the inside out," January said. "That's why it feels so alive and fuels our imagination…I paint where symbols won't go," he concluded. Primary in his approach to conveying the life he sees in his models is a fusion he exhibits in his work, "When color and form proportions are one," he explains, "the painting suddenly jumps alive."

The Gallery will sponsor a conversation about the exhibition on Thursday, Sept. 17 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. January will discuss his work and Dr. Jean Clottes, eminent expert on cave painting and rock art and Mille, will join them. On Friday, Oct. 23 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in the Gallery, neurologist and author, Dr. Frank Wilson will relate his lecture, "Coming to Grips with the Human Hand" to January's figural works. Admission to both events is free.

January's work has been exhibited by invitation each year at the Salon d'Automne in Paris since 2004. This annual Parisian event, first staged in 1903, was a springboard for the careers of Cezanne, Picasso, Matisse and Maillol. Last year, January was voted in the Salon d'Automne as a societaire or guild member, with voting rights on how the Salon is managed.

Admission to the gallery is free. The hours are: Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday: Noon to 4 p.m. Closed Monday. The gallery is always open when performances occur at the Quick Center.

Directions: Fairfield University is located off I-95, exit 22 at 1073 North Benson Road, Fairfield, CT 06824.

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Media Contact: Joan Grant, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, jgrant@fairfield.edu

Posted on August 17, 2009

Vol. 42, No. 33