Cris Worley Fine Arts is pleased to announce the upcoming exhibition of Robert Sagerman: Scintillae. The exhibition will open with an artist’s reception on Saturday, April 9th, from 5-8 pm, and will run through May 14th. Sagerman will be giving an artist’s talk on April 9th at 5pm. The event is free and open to the public. This is the New Jersey based artist’s third solo exhibition with the gallery.
Robert Sagerman’s paintings reflect the artist’s longstanding fascination with how, in the realm of art, the material turns symbolic to transcend its physical constraints. Sagerman’s paintings on canvas—lusciously weighted with thousands of daubs of paint—take us somewhere immaterial yet nonetheless fully felt. The assertive materiality of Sagerman’s works creates patterned movements that evoke the natural world, that remind us of the movement of water, of wind, of light. Their color gradations reflect the shifting shadows and radiance of the natural world at dawn and sunset.
These universal qualities reflect Sagerman’s concern with what painting can communicate across time and space, and also across belief systems. For this new body of work, Sagerman found inspiration in a depiction of the Greek god Hermes in a ceiling fresco in Warzberg, Germany painted by Giambattista Tiepolo. Tiepolo nods to esotericism in this image of the young god, whose primary responsibility is in the transitional space between the worlds of god and man—between the sacred and the profane. Sagerman’s concern with this two-fold nature of humankind, and our struggle to reconcile our own “two-foldedness,” is the ultimate project of spiritual practices across geography and history, and of Sagerman’s work.
As Sagerman writes, “In painting there is only materiality at hand, even if one wishes to embody something of the immaterial.” For Scintillae, Sagerman continues his exploration of painting’s ability to bridge this gap between the fact of our physical existence, and the hidden, mystical fact of our more transcendent selves. There is no denying the physical sphere; to accept it is to be mindful. But this anchor doesn’t stop us from striving to rise above the hard facts of our corporeal existence, to land somewhere more connective and universal.
Robert Sagerman was born in Queens, NY and currently works in rural New Jersey. He received his BFA and MFA from Pratt Institute. He also holds an MS in Art History from Pratt Institute as well as an MA in Religious Studies and a PhD in Hebrew and Judaic Studies from New York University. Sagerman’s work was recently included in multiple two person exhibitions, including Galerie Renate Bender in Germany and Heather Gaudio Fine Art in Connecticut, as well as group exhibitions at Charlotte Jackson Fine Art in New Mexico and Philip Slein Gallery in St. Louis Missouri. Sagerman’s work has been reviewed by Art in America, NY Arts Magazine, Kunstforum International, Art News and the Atlanta Journal Constitution among many others. His work is in the public collections of the Portland Art Museum (Portland, OR), The Karl Ernst Osthaus-Museum (Hagen, Germany), and the Museum Für Konkrete Kunst (Ingolstadt, Germany).