Paintings 1999


Nellie Castan Gallery



Solo Exhibitions
TOTEM & TABOO: The Paintings of Robert Doble

Robert will be opening his second exhibition with Nellie Castan Gallery. The works encompass a series of large paintings on the dualities of exposure and disclosure. The canvases are dark and heavy but their weight is alleviated by the elegance of painterly gesture.

Robert Doble studied at the Reigate School of Art in Surrey and later at the Croydon College of Art and Chelsea Art School, London. He is currently living and working in Kyneton, Victoria.

Doble's work is steeped in the tradition of twentieth century Expressionist painting – it pays homage to early Jackson Pollock, the psychoanalytical paintings; the work of the French Abstract Expressionist artists with their loaded canvases; the objets trouves of Support Surface; and perhaps most of all the gestural imprints of Spanish painters such as Antonio Tapies.

The traditions that these primal paintings tap into stem from our unconscious store of memories, memories that are collective and like tribal art are expressed by symbols that are totemic to twentieth century western art. The totems are written over with letters, overriding the imagery. The gestural strokes and signs mask the content and are stretched over the surface like a tight mask.

Doble's paintings acknowledge the tradition of expressionist art which has always operated between the gestural sweep of broad paint across a canvas with the iconic marking, the stamp, the image, the recognised symbol – the totem and taboo of expressionist art.

Dr Helen Toplis