Whale-8 2013
Accession Number: PC.134
Artist: Robert Chapman
oil on linen
Adopted by:

Robert Chapman (1950- )

Once, as an opening catalog statement, artist Robert Chapman presented the idea that his artistic concern happened to be focused on the “content of our reality”. His statement continues, “This idea, which still resonates with me, is an aspect of reality which is not so much governed by fleeting surface ripples, or formed by the transient meanderings of social order influencing events, but rather by a deeper universal current. This reality of subsurface rhythms influence and form the structural armature defining our perceptions of the material world. The matrix of what ultimately becomes a visual reality is produced by a fusion of properties both visible and transparent.

“I’ve always felt that by using an open artistic form of expression, by balancing chance occurrence with reason driven intent, the opportunity arises to access a sense of the unseen parallel side of objectivity. As my artwork develops, I, and hopefully the viewer, can perceive if only symbolically, what takes place in the development of chance randomness forming and effecting a unified whole. This is suggested, not only within the world of art, but also in relationships found in the order of the natural world.

“My work symbolizes the notion of a force or current influencing order, balance, and existence, while being perceived as rooted effortlessly in a kind of reality. This constant is a source of renewal, wonder, and inspiration for me, which gives my life and work a personal sense of connected purpose,” he concluded.

Robert Chapman currently lives in the rural area of the California Central Coast. Born in California, he studied at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland in the 1970s and was Assistant to Willem de Kooning, East Hampton, New York, in the 1980s. His paintings are collected internationally and has been featured in numerous one man shows nationally, including his one man show Perfect Stranger at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art in 2010.

Robert Chapman donated this painting to the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art in 2016.

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