School of Visual & Performing Arts

Department of Art

Faculty Spotlight

(Photo courtesy of Erin Walrath)

Photo courtesy of Erin Walrath

(Photo courtesy of Sarah Stewart)

Photo courtesy of Sarah Stewart

Riley Brewster

Doing What Comes Naturally: Seven Painters in Their Prime
February 2 - August 4, 2019

Curated by Robert Storr

Riley Brewster
Denzil Hurley
John Obuck
Nathlie Provosty
Rebecca Purdum
Joyce Robins
Andrew Spence

An Excerpt From the Curator, Robert Storr's Essay about Riley's work:

"...Brewster's incessant drawing with a brush charged with dry, pasty oil pigments, and his comparably unceasing revisions of exploratory marks, are realized in strokes that are virtually if not totally indistinguishable from those they cover and in the process correct or reconfigure. Think Giacometti without wiry delineation or any recognizable bodies or furniture or architectural framework whatsoever. Furthermore, Brewster's paintings are devoid of the overtly melodramatic signs of anguish so many post-existentialist painters affect to the detriment of their compelling pictorial monomanias, though it is hard not to feel a deeply unsettled and hard-to-please nature beneath the second-nature of the language Brewster has chosen. Rather they evoke the implacable density of New England granite and fog.

From that vantage point, the muted values of the lichen green, pewter, and slate gray hues that make up his palette would appear to bespeak a depressive temperament, or, at any rate, may make those thus inclined think of long days without sun in northern latitudes, such as Maine, where Brewster formerly lived, or the Low Countries and Scandinavia, where melancholy comes with mother's milk. Be that as it may, looking long and hard at Brewster's work brings home the lesson learned anytime one turns the lights of a closed room low; after a brief period of acclimation and adjustment our sensory apparatus kicks into high gear permitting us to register glimmers in the gloom that would ordinarily fall below the threshold of everyday sensory habits. Each of these tiny epiphanies expands the horizons of perception, and with them the world around us, at which point all that seems brooding about Brewster's work become a somber form of elation, revelation - that which is hidden having been revealed - and ecstasy in a Connecticut Yankee mode. And once the first such break in the pall makes us aware of our capacity to penetrate the crepuscular surround, we begin to see other flickers here and there, and with them we begin to see a partial spectrum of faintly glimmering but alluring hues."

For more information about the exhibition go to:

R. Brewster- All rights reserved 2019
R. Brewster- All rights reserved 2019
R. Brewster- All rights reserved 2019