The paintings in this show represent my continued interest in the formal and expressive aspects of the urban landscape. They owe their origin from direct experience of having grown up in Paterson, New Jersey and living in the NYC area. With the exception of selected areas painting from nature, most of the works are studio creations that evolve from paintings and drawings created from direct observation, memory, invention, photos, other diverse references, and discoveries made in the act of painting. All of the work has a thread of personal experience and seeks to find a visual equivalent that unites my experiences, musings, and imagination.
Robert Andriulli was born in Paterson, New Jersey, and now resides in Millersville, Pennsylvania. He received a B.A. from William Paterson College of New Jersey in 1975 and an M.F.A. in Painting from The Pennsylvania State University in 1978. He also attended summer fellowship programs at Yale University in Connecticut and Oxbow School of Art in Michigan. Robert Andriulli is a recently retired Professor of Art at Millersville University in Millersville, Pennsylvania, and has formerly taught at Bowdoin College in Maine, Seton Hall University in New Jersey, and at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pennsylvania.
Give a brief description of your upcoming show. And what might have inspired it.
This body of work is inspired by personal objects (“personal effects”) left to me by my late great grandmother Dorothy M. Jacobs and Great Grandfather Bernard “Ace” Jacobs. Nearly every object in this series is theirs. Many of these objects like the rotary phones and vintage cameras have seen time pass them by, but they still feel fresh and relevant in their own way, with many stories to tell. This subject matter certainly holds personal meaning to me and these paintings can be seen as a tribute or memorial to two absolutely amazing people. However I believe most viewers will be able to draw their own connections and connect the dots to their own stories. At least, that is my sincere hope.
How have you expanded existing themes/ideas for which you are best known/or if this body of work is a great deviation from your norm, what inspired this new approach?
I’ve wanted to aggressively tackle “still life” for some time now. But unlike traditional still life I’ve created some ambiguity in terms of context and environment. In most of the pieces, the objects take center stage, complimented by their feathered companions against a backdrop of atmospheric texture, shapes and color. Subtle cast shadows are really the only indicator of these objects realistically occupying space.
Stylistically and/or technically, what do you hope collectors notice in your new work?
There are definitely nods to my usual approach and style throughout this body of work. But I’ve also pushed things a little further and taken risks by incorporating pattern and geometric motifs into many of the backgrounds. In most of the pieces I’m trying to strike a balance between tightly detailed and loosely abstract passages.
Add any additional info that might interest the viewer.
As I’ve been working on these paintings I’ve gotten the question over and over from family and friends: Why the Birds? Truthfully, the birds can be seen as a little bit of an artistic indulgence on my part. My fundamental reason for painting is pleasure and I really enjoy painting wildlife, particularly birds. I enjoy the challenge of capturing the intricacy of their feathers, the sparkle in their eyes and that unique personality and character they subtly exude. However they do serve the purpose of injecting a little extra “life” into these still scenes and furthering the notion that each piece has stories to tell. Each type of bird was carefully chosen and positioned in a way that would visually and conceptually compliment the object it accompanies.