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09/06/2022 - 09/07/2022

Late C20th-Early 21st - Painting


Robert Reed - Plum Nellie and Galactic Journal Series

The show presents work from two of the six distinct series in the artist’s oeuvre: Plum Nellie and Galactic Journal.

Articulated over a number of large canvases and smaller monotypes, drawings and collages, the Plum Nellie series, begun in the early 1970s, holds strict forms in playful counterpoint. A selection of larger works was presented in Reed’s eponymous 1973 solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

The artist began to work with some of the forces he encountered as a student in his first outdoor landscape experience at Yale’s Norfolk programme. “For me these are landscapes… when I begin to make moves in a painting, I am basing them on some reaction to a landscape space.” Plum nellie is an expression Reed heard growing up in the South, with the elder generation using it as an expression for “damn near.” As he recalled, one day he was mixing colours for a painting, trying to think of a title and began saying to himself, “Oh, it’s not there yet. Not there. Plum nellie…”


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