Santa Fe, NM, August 16-31
This story was featured in the August 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Order the Southwest Art August 2013 print issue, or get the Southwest Art August 2013 digital download now…Or better yet, just subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!
Simplicity and nostalgia are hallmarks of Robert Burt’s paintings. Burt’s flattened landscapes, rounded hills, and bulbous trees jump from the canvas in a palette full of rich contrasts, evoking comparisons with the works of Edward Hopper and Grant Wood. This month Barbara Meikle Fine Art presents up to 20 new works by Burt in a show titled Destinations, which opens on Friday, August 16, with an artist’s reception from 5 to 8 p.m.
Adobe buildings and churches, grazing sheep, and men in sombreros—these iconic images of the Southwest find new life in Burt’s colorful canvases. “New and old Mexico have the colors that I love: deep-blue skies and lots of orange and yellow in the high desert,” Burt says.
His bold colors and stark landscapes have a dreamlike quality, and it’s this quality, combined with his use of vintage-car imagery, that gallery owner Barbara Meikle says attracts viewers. “People love the simplicity of the work,” she says. “It has a little bit of a childlike nature.” Burt takes simple images, then tips up the picture plane so that it becomes a bird’s-eye view in some areas of the canvas—but not the whole painting, she explains. “He plays with perspective.”
As in the ROAD TO TRANQUILITY, Burt often includes 1930’s-era cars traveling into the landscape. “I think these roads and cars, as with other things I paint, start a story, and I allow the viewer to finish it,” he says. “Since everyone will see what relates to them in a painting, sometimes I try to help them along by providing a car, and they can travel down that road themselves.” Burt’s collectors say his paintings convey feelings of joy and happiness. “That is exactly where I want to be with my art,” he says. “There is plenty that you can add to a painting. In my opinion, it is more difficult and less stressful [to the viewer] to know what to leave out.”
Meikle says that with these new works, she sees Burt delving even more deeply into his own style. “He continues to explore his personal icons,” she says. “It’s like we’re traveling through his imagination, the imaginary landscape, and it is more personal, more defined than ever before.” —Laura Rintala
Featured in the August 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art August 2013 digital download
Southwest Art August 2013 print issue
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