Tiger Strikes Asteroid Philadelphia is pleased to present Phantom Shock, a solo exhibition of painted wall constructions and sculptures by Robert Straight. Phantom Shock will run from June 7 through July 14, 2018, with an artist closing reception on July 12 from 6 to 9 pm.
Straight’s work connects at once to the historical and the contemporary: while the pieces gesture towards the playful formalism of artists like Jean Arp and Paul Klee, their inventiveness of mark and exploratory spirit feel very much of this moment. The artist writes that he uses “an intuitive process governed by past experiences.” The rounded, biomorphic forms are constructed from a variety of materials, including foam, plaster, wood and canvas; this material layering echoes the way Straight layers experimental processes of the moment with the insight of accumulated experience. The result is work that occupies a space of flux, in which past and present, form and content exist in constant, shifting dialog. The form pushes with the surface and past it; the pieces become object and window, sculpture and support.
Straight describes the curved edges of his work as referencing the lines of a surfboard. Like a surfer, who waits patiently for the right wave to produce the perfect opportunity, Straight makes each piece a new point of departure – a fresh opportunity to unite material, effort and moment.
Straight received his Bachelor of Arts from California State University at Long Beach, California, and his Master of Fine Arts at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. He has exhibited in many solo and group exhibitions, including Novella Gallery and 55 Mercer Street in New York, the Carroll House Gallery in New Hampshire, as well as the Delaware Art Museum. He is also affiliated with Schmidt/Dean gallery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
"It’s interesting how the past can invade the present in unexpected ways.
The physical shapes of these works replicate the rails of a surfboard, without being a surfboard. Jean Arp and Paul Klee make an appearance in this work without being the focus of the work or its main characters.
A big part of this work is in the construction of the substrates. Various materials, foam, hydrocal, and canvas become an organic shape that becomes the physical structure. From this starting point it’s unclear how the piece gets resolved. It’s an intuitive process governed by past experiences." - Robert Straight