Into the (four)est
This is an open invitation to the public to come see the (four)est paintings in their natural surroundings over the next four years.
Below are driving maps from Kyoto to Kameoka, Kuta, Keihoku and Miyama, and walking maps to the paintings from the road. While I have attempted to provide detailed directions, please be advised the paintings are not so easy to find. All of them are less than 100 meters from the road, but there are no trails and the slope of the mountain in some locations is rather steep. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
Beginning in the summer of 2018 I will be hosting viewing parties in the forest every season. Announcements of which location and the exact date and time will be posted here. Keeping with the spirit of the project, these will be held rain or shine.
Looking forward to seeing you in the forest!
April 2018 (Kyoto)
an art collaboration with Nature by Robert Wallace
April 4, 2018 – April 4, 2022
Kyoto: Kuta | Keihoku | Kameoka | Miyama
Sunday, March 25, 2018 12:00 – 18:00
I have long been inspired and influenced by the unsolicited and involuntary art collaborations between Mother Nature and Man. A concrete wall or corrugated steel siding stained by rain and wind and sun and time. Without a brush or pigment or any artist tool whatsoever Nature creates incredible pictures from and upon the most mundane man-made objects.
I can’t say what first drew me to these “found paintings”. Perhaps it was the absolute randomness of the design, the sort of wabi-sabi essence, completely free of intent. Maybe it was the furtive and clever subversion of man’s vainglorious and stupid constructions. Maybe it was a secret joy, the pleasure I got from discovering such pictures in my day-to-day travels that few others would notice or be interested in.
For years I have aspired to emulate these beautiful, natural artworks that have evolved over decades, sometimes centuries. It is futile and consequently humbling.
So after some 25 years of painting I decided to collaborate directly with Nature. I would paint some pictures and then pass them on to Her to do what She does without direction or influence from me. The (four)est project was born.
I have painted four pictures. They loosely represent the four seasons (winter, spring, summer and fall), the four points of the compass (north, south, east and west) and the four elements (fire, water, air and earth). These are the forces that act upon and shape both the natural and manmade world. These paintings will be left in the forests of Kuta, Keihoku, Kameoka and Miyama in northern Kyoto for four years. Each season I will venture into the forest and document the changes. In the spring of 2022 the pictures will be repatriated to civilization and an exhibition will be held.
My motivation for this project is in part a fervent belief that the most beautiful art made by the most talented artists is always somehow inferior to the creations of Nature. The real beauty of the world is often just beyond our doorstep.
January 2018 (Kyoto)
Filmed over three years in Japan this short film by American artist Robert Wallace accompanies his exhibition "Checklist" at be-kyoto gallery in Kyoto. The film will run continuously for the duration of the exhibition January 28 - February 2, 2017.
paintings by Robert Wallace
January 28 – February 2, 2017
Opening reception: Sunday, January 29th, 17:00 - 19:00
be-kyoto is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Kyoto-based American artist Robert Wallace. This is his second solo show with the gallery.
Wallace’s unique exhibition will join the ground floor with the mezzanine of this historic 200-year-old machiya (townhouse). Visitors are invited to become participants by removing a printed Checklist from the walls thereby changing the exhibition slightly each day.
2017年1月28日 - 2月2日
1月29日(日)の17時 - 19時にオープニングパーティーを開催致します。
The Checklist came to me in an unexpected way in New York back in 1997. My friend, the artist Daniel Joseph gave me a painting. I asked him to sign it. He turned it over and started writing. 3 or 4 minutes later he handed it back to me. Along with his name he had written a checklist. It was not a list of things to do, or things to remember, but random, disjointed thoughts.
The Checklist was the brainchild of Dan’s friend, artist Brian Moran. I had seen scraps of paper with these odd, sort of free form poems around Dan’s Van Brunt St. apartment/studio in Red Hook. Brian invited me to participate. He outlined the "rules", which were just two: 1) the checklist must be 33 in length; 2) the last item in the list must be the word “degrees”. Brian had been reading about Freemasonry. 33 is a significant number for this secretive international order, being the highest “degree” or level one can rise to. Of course it has a special meaning in many cultures and religions, including Buddhism. According to the Lotus Sutra, Kannon Bodhisattva has 33 transformations to assist in human salvation. I was never quite sure if Brian was making a joke or if he too believed in the power of this particular number.
For me the Checklist is ephemera, little scraps of life that float into and out of ones mind. It comes to you in the same way thoughts or other bits of text do: fragmented, broken, incomplete, disjointed, unrelated. It can literally spring from any source. Wherever there are words there is material for a Checklist. One word. A sentence. A paragraph.
A Checklist need not make sense or have a logical chronology. It need not have a rhythm or flow. It need not be thematic. Consider the incalculable number of thoughts that flood ones mind in any given instant. It is impossible to process it all, to listen to everything. These itemized mental, written, verbal and aural snippets are what strike us, what make us stop for a second before we return to our train of thought, resume our activities.
The structure of a Checklist is quite simple. It can be assembled in minutes, a spontaneous, stream-of-consciousness transcription. Or they can evolve, as mine usually do, over weeks and months. When one re-reads a Checklist built over time it becomes a sort of catalogue or record of ones fragmented life. For me, these are the most successful/interesting, because they are so completely random and less prone to manipulation by daily emotion or fleeting mood. They are the most free and ultimately poetic.
In the end a Checklist is perhaps nothing more than a vain and futile attempt to capture in writing the tiny details of ones life as they speed by too quickly and in too great a volume to ever grasp. I endeavored with this exhibition to express visually, in paint and collage, what a Checklist is. Embedded in each painting are Checklists written since I arrived in Japan almost three years ago. Sometimes the words are visible and sometimes they are not; sometimes they float on the surface, sometimes they are buried deep within the painting, just as thoughts rise and sink in our head, and the vast amount of information we process is retained or discarded. The paintings are united by materials and color palette, but lack a cohesive style, much the same way Checklists are all made up of words, but have no relation to each other. It is the complete randomness of the mind and our lives I am inviting the viewer to consider.
November 2016 (Kyoto)
I am pleased to announce I have been included in a group exhibition at be-kyoto gallery in Kyoto, Japan. This exhibition, which runs concurrent with Design Week Kyoto, presents the work of more than a dozen Kyoto-based artists working in a variety of mediums. All the artwork is available in the gallery's on-line shop, BuyByBe.
February 21 - 27, 2016. Opening event Sunday, February 21st at 16:00.
For more information click on the image below, or contact Mayu Okamoto at be-kyoto gallery: tel. 81 (0)75 417 1315 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
I am pleased to announce I have been included in the third edition of the Paint 50 exhibition at PI Gallery in Nagoya, Japan. The exhibition features a selection of 50 contemporary painters from around the world and runs from November 24 to December 19, 2015. There is a closing reception on December 19 at 16:00. For more information go to: http://www.pigallery.com or contact the gallery at: tel. 81 (0)52-228-7587 or email@example.com
このエキシビションUnder the Influenceでは、私たちの身の回りにある一見ランダムで何の変哲のないものを使用し、それを全く違う角度から新しいものとして見ていただきたく、また私のアートに触れた方々がそれぞれの”日常の陽炎”を考慮していただけるキッカケになれば、と願っております。
The English fashion designer Paul Smith once said “you can find inspiration in everything.” Indeed the world around us not only inspires us, but shapes who we are as individuals. Our environment, from our home to our school to our office, from the train we take to the road we drive, from the café where we dine to the market where we shop all have an influence on us. Every detail of our daily life affects and informs us. One can’t really navigate life in the 21st Century successfully without acknowledging these indiscriminate influences.
My artwork springs from this “ephemera quotidian”. It is literally the source material for my paintings. They are built from and upon the daily detritus of my life: the morning newspaper, a street map, a market receipt, a letter, a shopping bag, a business card, a page from a novel, a movie ticket. This material provides the texture of my life and at the same time the texture of my paintings.
Under the Influence is my attempt to show how all these seemingly random and unrelated things collect around us, penetrate our subconscious and resurface as something else. For me, these are the influences large and small that shape my paintings. This exhibition is an invitation for the viewer to consider their own personal daily ephemera and what influence it has upon them.
I am pleased to announce I have been included in the group exhibition celebrating the 8-year anniversary of be-kyoto gallery in Kyoto, Japan. In addition, my work has been selected by the gallery to be part of the Monthly Art Rental System (MARS) they officially launch this month. The exhibition runs from February 21 through March 5, 2015. There is an opening event Sunday, February 22nd from 15:00 - 17:00. For more information click on the image below, or contact Mayu Okamoto at be-kyoto gallery: tel. 81 (0)75 417 1315 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Kyo-iro Pastels (Kyoto Colors Pastels) are superior-quallity, pure pigment "soft" pastels made in Kyoto, Japan by Gondola Pastel. There are 18 uniquely-named colors inspired by the rich history and natural beauty of Kyoto.
I have been invited by Gondola Pastel to conduct a seminar at be-kyoto gallery located in the Kamigyo ward of Kyoto. It will take place Sunday, March 15 from 13:30 to 15:30. To register or for more information contact Mayu Okamoto at be-kyoto gallery: tel. 81 (0)75 417 1315 or email@example.com .
Reata is pleased to present On Second Thought, an exhibition of new and selected works by Kyoto-based American painter Robert Wallace. The new paintings follow on his First Impressions series from last autumn and draw inspiration from the same source – Kyoto and traditional Japanese culture. Select pieces from the earlier series have been included to demonstrate how Wallace continues to build upon and develop these themes in his work. This gives the viewer the opportunity to see the older paintings again in a different context, and at the same time glimpse the thought process that lead to the new work.
To arrange a personal viewing contact the artist directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
京都を拠点に活動するアメリカ人画家、ロバート・ウォレス氏による個展 On Second Thought が Reata にて開催されています。
新しい作品は昨秋の個展 First Impressions のシリーズに引き続き、京都と伝統的な日本文化からインスピレーションを受けて描かれた作品です。
個人閲覧など作家と直接の連絡をご希望される方は email@example.com までご連絡頂きますようお願い申し上げます。
Following on the success of my exhibition "First Impressions" at be-kyoto gallery in Kyoto, Japan, I've decided to collaborate again with the gallery and publish a limited edition book featuring all 16 paintings from the exhibition plus an essay by me. I have launched a fundraising campaign with Hatchfund to help finance the project. To learn more about it and how you can contribute go to: http://www.hatchfund.org/project/first_impressions_book
I am pleased to announce "First Impressions", an exhibition of new paintings
at be-kyoto gallery January 25 - 30, 2014.
Opening reception Saturday, January 25, 18:00 - 20:00.
I will be available at the gallery for a few hours each day.
Call or e-mail for an appointment.
Kamigyo-ku Kyoto 602-0064
Check out my new blog chronicling my adventures in Japan
Come see/meet me at Art Basel Miami in December and check out some of my newest paintings.
Call or e-mail me for more details and an appointment.
A survey of paintings by Robert Wallace
October 16 – December 15, 2011
Opening: Friday, October 21 6–10P; dj c. live spinning from 8 - 10P
123 Coffey St. (at Van Brunt.)
Brooklyn, NY 11231
Days/Hours: Thurs–Sun, 12–7P and by appointment
A C F to Jay St./Metrotech or 2 3 4 5 to Borough Hall
B61 bus (direction Park Slope) at Boerum Pl./Joralemon St.
Exit Van Brunt St./Coffey St.
New York Water Taxi to IKEA Dock at Beard St.