Andrew Roberts-Gray’s new body of work, “After the Pale King,” uses contrasting materials and processes to create abstract art that oscillates between sculpture and painting.
Roberts-Gray’s previous series of abstracted landscapes revealed his interest in contrasting abstraction with representational form, graphic composition with painterly gestures. During the summer of 2014, Roberts-Gray completed “The Pale King” which proved to be a seminal work; the painting is sixteen feet long and has various sculptural elements that rest outside the actual panel. These geometric forms create a dialog with the viewer that informs the painted panel. Ultimately “The Pale King” marked a departure for the artist: his new series explodes from the surface to make 3-dimensional, entirely non-objective works.
Roberts-Gray starts with discreet elements created from paint, Dibond, cardboard, and paper-maché. Roberts-Gray begins exploring interconnections between these various “components.” They’re moved around his studio, placed haphazardly together, separated and re-partnered, lost and then found. Through this process, Roberts-Gray discovers relationships between discreet elements: recurring motifs-patterns, rhythms and textures and, over time, common or contrasting elements form connections. The artist applies sharp changes in texture and color with elements like fluorescent mirrored plexiglass and cut steel; he sees this process and his component pieces as “paintings becoming sculptures.” He continues, “…as the works evolve, each gains an identity which eventually informs how the work is resolved.”