Robert Fry’s enduring preoccupation is to find a visual equivalent to the metaphysical space separating the act of representation from the language of abstraction in the medium of painting. Un-coincidently, the human figure is central in Fry’s studies and remains the ultimate conduit to express his obsession with the concepts of form and norm, symmetry and deformation, and that of mutation and maturity. These concepts reflect the fundamental definition of the self and how it relates to its immediate environment. In Fry’s works, ‘the juxtaposition of two conversing beings fuses boundaries between conventionally inanimate structures with anatomical extensions that strain to communicate against backgrounds suggesting tumbling infinity and omnipresence.
The paintings of Robert Fry test the boundaries of abstract figurative painting as he explores the types and degrees of tension that exist between the figures that appear in every work. He locates his figures in a non-space, a vacuum lacking the naturalistic elements of the human environment. There is no gravity, no tangible compass point by which to navigate. The viewer is absorbed entirely into Fry’s imagination wherein spatial perspective is rendered through a complex series of vantage points.
When talking about his beginning as a painter, Robert comments about what was his state of mind at the time:“ I believed in painting at this time and, despite the prevailing view, I had an instinct that I felt comfortable and also uncomfortable with painting. When I say ‘uncomfortable’, I mean the possibilities within painting as a practice made me restless and uneasy and this propelled me forward.“
He studied Fine Art and was one of two painters in an art department of 45 students. There was consistent emphasis to pursue many fine art practices but painting was not favoured. He painted despite this. As a result, found himself constantly justifying his own choice to paint. In fact, this was ultimately beneficial as the constant scrutiny enabled him to contextualize my practice.
Robert Fry had his first solo show in London in 2008. Collectors such as Charles Saatchi and Mario Testino showed interest and Fry is today known as one of the most promising talents of the new generation of British artists. Robert Fry was shortlisted for the prestigious John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize and had exhibitions in The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, as well as solo shows in Los Angeles, Moscow and London.
Born in 1980, London Fry lives and works in London.