Geometry has been a recurring theme in the history of art: from Platonic solids to Roman pavements; from Gothic paintings to Victorian households; from Russian Suprematism to the academic analyses of Paul Klee.
Exploring regular geometrical tessellations, Melvyn Robinson creates a system of painting comprising five inter-related categories.
Beginning with I Representation, Robinson imitates reality in a series of predominantly art school sketches from his home town of Barnsley, South Yorkshire.
In the following category, II Analysis, these early works are revisited and reworked in a form of structural or geometric reduction.
Next, in III Forms, Robinson explores the two-dimensional possibilities in some regular geometric tessellations.
In IV Phenomena, a new dimension is created within the geometric tessellations, that of ambiguous phenomena as well as three-dimensional perspectives.
Finally, in V Transformations, Robinson develops the previous two categories to create works where a kind of transcendental representation emerges from the geometric abstraction. Thus, the categories come full circle.
Robinson believes that these themes have emerged in his work almost by happenstance but also that they parallel some developments in 20th century philosopy.
To quote Merleau-Ponty in Eye and Mind, 1960:
“The effort of modern painting has been directed not so much toward choosing between line and colour or even between figurative depiction and the creation of signs, as it has been toward multiplying the systems of equivalences . . .”
Robinson lectured in art at the College of Education, Cheshire, Hackney College, London and the London Institute. He has also taught art and music across schools in London.
Robinson’s first solo exhibition was in 1978 at the Acme Gallery, Covent Garden in London. He has since had solo exhibitions in at the Cooper Art Gallery, Barnsley, The Air Gallery, London and The Gallery, Cadaques, Spain. He has had group exhibitions with the Whitechappel Community Arts across East London, where he was also involved in gallery education. More recently, he has had regular open studios at his Acme Studios in London, leading to a number of private commissions.
Robinson has lived and worked as an artist for over 5 decades. However he has been reluctant to show his work over the years as he felt his system of art incomplete and not ready for the public. He has finally agreed to be represented and 2012 marks the year we finally bring his work to the public.
Robinson is also known as a musician, having played with the Band of the Royal Corps of Signals as well as the jazz bands The Temperance Seven, The Bill Posters Will Be Band and Jazz Junction. He has worked in Theatre at the Old Half Moon Theatre, London in productions of The Docks and Wozzeck and in the New Half Moon Theatre London in productions of Pal Joey, Mahogony and Dreamer. The latter of which he was the composer. He also worked at the Mermaid Theatre, London in the production Trafford Tanzi. …Read More
Robinson attended Barnsley College of Art in 1950 and went on to study at Manchester College of Art in 1955. He later studied further at Keele University, where he became interested in combined arts and education, researching an integrated curriculum.…Read More