Robert Rebitzke presents Weightless Depth, a new series of works on paper that fuse improvisational landscapes, directional lines, and layers of color that emerge from dark pools of paint. Lyrical in their composition and feeling, Rebitzke’s process of tipping, turning, and shaking liquid pigment leaves traces of happenstance, evoking the multi-media artist’s desire to conjure the playful freedom of childhood.
Inspired by the jazz-like riffs of Jean-Michel Basquiat, who offered the world guileless spontaneity with his elusive, almost obsessive scribbles, this body of work conveys sophisticated doodles, refined abstractions, and an overarching sense of weightlessness and wonder. Playing with the juxtaposition of healing life's wounds, Rebitzke layers acrylic and oil paint, scraping away areas, almost like cutting the paper as a symbol of injury, physical and emotional, which is then cured through jolts of brightness, much like joy peeking through the heavy curtain of human frailty and sadness.
“There is an element of experimenting with the color out of the darkness that is truly liberating,” Rebitzke says, adding that he was “exploring feelings of hope and happiness that lift us from the hardships of life. A lot of this work reflects the idea of soothing old wounds, wounds we all have within.” It is the very questions about the challenges of life – love, fears, insecurities – that lead Rebitzke to investigating a repository of techniques, including the smudging and blurring graphite, the pull of gravity on thick drips paint, the transfer of paint from one piece to another. Together, the impact is animated, visual, an uplifting meditation of color representative of letting go of that which haunts and inviting in shimmering celebration.
Robert Rebitzke (b. 1966) lives and works in Afton, Virginia and has been making art for the past 25 years in both the US and France. His studio practice spans intricate woodwork, drawing, sculpture, Venetian plaster paintings, and photography. For more information, see www.rebitzke.com.