Manifested in richly hued layers and expressive line, the creatures and mercurial forms that inhabit Robert Hardgrave’s visions of reincarnation come to life in this emotional new series of paintings. Comprised of acrylics on canvas, panel and paper, ‘Xenoglossy” documents a deeply personal period in the artist’s life’soon after receiving a kidney transplant in 2003, Hardgrave learned that his new kidney had developed lymphoma that necessitated an arduous six-month course of chemotherapy. The remission of the cancer subsequently ushered in a new duality in Hardgrave’s life: relative good health and a reinvigorated approach to his work. Channeling themes of life, death, and the gray spaces between, Hardgrave’s organic, multi-layered paintings appear as though they’ve been summoned from an alternate mystical dimension. And while that notion may seem whimsical, the paintings in ‘Xenoglossy” are proof that Hardgrave’s transformative personal turmoil has awakened a profoundly new creative reservoir.
Robert has an exhibit running currently at the BLK/MRKT Gallery in Culver City, CA which runs through December 22nd.
"Hardgrave’s work elicits such a strong emotional presence, it reminds me of the feeling of awe and mystery I have when looking at tribal masks from Papua New Guinea. His work always feels like it is still in the process of becoming, slowly shifting and transforming right in front of your eyes, it breathes."