In Jeff Robinson’s series of paintings, Nostalgias, black and white and gray large-scale paintings and intimate works on paper breathe new life into snapshots of the recent past. A couple celebrating New Year’s Eve, society women dressed in furs, and swing dancers are all caught in brief impressions. These paintings give transitory glimpses of life back then, of an age that already feels bygone. Viewers are transformed as visitors, tourists, invited to engage with fleeting moments that we recognize and, perhaps, even long for.
Equally important is how the painter convinces us of the truth of this experience. The subject matter seems familiar, as amateur photography from an extremely interesting family album, but upon close inspection each painted image is made of entirely abstract shapes of shades of light and dark. What seems to be a woman’s face from afar is revealed to be abstraction upon closer view. Realism dissolves into shape and value and the artist, as the blue-collar worker of culture and the translator of the visual experience, takes a well-deserved bow.
Jeff Robinson lives and works in Kansas City, Missouri. His work is in the corporate collections of The New York Times, Nike Corporation, Time Warner, American General Insurance, St. Regis Hotels, American Century Investments, and the Albrecht Kemper Museum.