New exhibition: "Beyond the Rolling Fire: Paintings by Robyn W. Fairclough"

New exhibition: "Beyond the Rolling Fire: Paintings by Robyn W. Fairclough"

Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery
September 22, 2011-December 4, 2011
Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts

Image: Fairclough painting The Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery, located in Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, announces the opening of its newest exhibition, "Beyond the Rolling Fire: Paintings by Robyn W. Fairclough," on view from Thursday, September 22, 2011, through Sunday, December 4, 2011. An opening reception takes place on September 22, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

"Beyond the Rolling Fire: Paintings by Robyn W. Fairclough" features forty-five paintings and drawings by American artist Robyn W. Fairclough, recognized for her figurative works of children and adolescents engaged in activity by the water. Last October, a devastating fire in her Vermont studio destroyed 35 years' worth of her paintings, sketches, writings, and books. Since the fire, the artist has chosen to situate her figures in more invented, interior environments as well as in her more traditional outdoor scenes. This exhibition of 30 paintings and 15 drawings will showcase a body of earlier works alongside new works that have been very much impacted by the fire.

"Robyn Fairclough engages in a process of painting which 'takes her away' for as much as fifteen hours a day," said Diana Mille, Director of the Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery. "The result is a figurative painter, with one eye poised on the narrative, who can create an equally powerful psychological and expressionist dialogue with form, space and color."

Image: Fairclough painting Robyn Fairclough continues to be a process painter - relying on the journey of painting to determine the final outcome - putting figures in, taking figures out, making many shifts and changes as she works. Color and composition are also critical to her process, with color often influencing the mood, light, figure, and object placement in her work. Her works often recall those by contemporary expressionist painters Richard Diebenkorn and David Park as well as early twentieth-century modern expressionist painters Henri Matisse and Max Beckmann.

"It is the process of painting that brings the final resolution to the painting or drawing," said the artist, speaking on her technique. "It is the process that allows me to explore not just the figure, but what is happening outside the figure."

Robyn Fairclough's works have been shown at various galleries throughout the U.S., including New York City and Palm Beach, Florida and locally in Connecticut at the Southport Galleries. Her paintings have been shown in Europe, including exhibitions in Frankfurt, Germany. Her most recent show at the David Findlay Gallery in New York took place in 2008, and she also exhibited there in 2005 and 2002, as well as at the Galerie Barbara von Stechow in Germany, and the Prince Street Gallery in New York.

"Robyn Fairclough is a brilliant gestural painter," said Vermont art critic Kate Siepmann." Her focus on the minute subtleties of movement - the open-fingered hand dripping with wet sand, the tilt of a head, the unconscious turn of a foot, the tension in a hand absently grasping a cushion - is a crucial element of her painting. So too is the background. These figures are very much connected to the space they occupy. It is an environment almost literally ablaze with color, intensely emotional."

Image: Fairclough painting "After the overwhelming loss of many years' worth of paintings, Robyn W. Fairclough has demonstrated - in less than a year - remarkable resilience and passion to create a new and thought-provoking body of work," said Walsh Art Gallery Director Diana Mille. "As an Adjunct Professor in the Marriage and Family Therapy program at Fairfield University, I am deeply sensitive and appreciative of her professional and personal growth."

Robyn W. Fairclough received her BFA in painting from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and an MFA degree from Johnson State College/The Vermont Studio Center. She currently divides her time between Manhattan and Vermont.

The Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery is free and open to the public. Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays from noon to 4 p.m., and approximately one hour prior to curtain and during intermission at Quick Center 2011-2012 events.

The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts is located on the campus of Fairfield University at 1073 North Benson Road in Fairfield, Connecticut. Entrance to the Quick Center is through the Barlow Road gate at 200 Barlow Road. Free, secure parking is available. Access for people with disabilities is available throughout the Quick Center. Fairfield University is located off exit 22 of Interstate-95. For further information and directions, call (203) 254-4010 or 1-877-278-7396, or visit

Images: top) "In Cadence, My Children Moved" (oil on canvas; 2010-2011; 36" x 48"); middle) "The Silent Waters of Beaver Pond Farm" (oil on canvas; 2010-2011; 48" x 60"); bottom) "Mingling Hands and Mingling Glances" (oil on canvas; 2010-2011; 30" x 48")

Posted On: 09-06-2011 11:09 AM

Volume: 44 Number: 29