published Saturday, November 12th, 2011

'Robert Marchessault: Recent work'

Since the late 1970s, Robert Marchessault's paintings have evolved through several styles and forms of presentation. His most recent work, which will open in an exhibit at Tanner Hill Gallery on Dec. 1, illustrates his fascination with space, distance, atmosphere, light, energy and texture.

The oil paintings in the show depict natural forms such as trees, plants and water in a simple, stylized fashion. His images are richly layered using traditional and nontraditional methods to achieve a somewhat melancholy mood.

Marchessault, who resides in Ontario, Canada, is a studio painter who draws on what he calls "memory sketches."

"Composed from an experience, I use memory as a filtering agent to distill an image for a painting, while discarding useless details," he said in his artist's statement. "I do occasional on-site drawings or take photographs, but I generally do not refer to them while painting."

For Marchessault, a painting is complete only when it reflects an emotional sensation that calls to mind some aspect of his remembered perceptions.

Angela Usrey, owner of Tanner Hill Gallery, said observers and critics have remarked on the luminosity that Marchessault achieves -- a spiritual light that emanates from within the forms.

Marchessault received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Concordia University in Montreal and his Master of Arts from University of Toronto. He has had more than 100 solo shows since 1980, and his paintings are included in numerous public collections.

The show will remain on display through Jan. 27.

Tanner Hill Gallery, 3069 S. Broad St., is open noon-5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and by appointment. Call 280-7182 for information.

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