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Jeff Robb pushes the boundaries in 3D image making in new exhibition at Mauger Modern Gallery
Jeff Robb, 'The Revenant' edition of 12. Photo: Courtesy Mauger Modern Gallery.

LONDON.- Robb’s Macroland works are effectively inverted windows on to a unique experience of pure colour - 'inverted' because, as the viewer, each framed image projects back at you. Compositions deconstruct before your eyes in dazzling 3D with an illusion of extraordinary depth. You need to stand back from, peer in to and walk around these works to see them 'in the round' and to get the most from them; the experience is immersive.

The success of Robb's work lies in his mastery of 3D film and photographic processes. Indeed his art is hard to classify. The artist himself, who received considerable media attention this year for producing a 3D series of photographic portraits of The Queen for light artist Chris Levine, describes his work as “somewhere between traditional photographic recording and 3D sculpture”.

When you approach an original Macroland piece, you encounter a 3D space that is entirely lost in photographic reproduction. This series of work, more than any other by Robb, expresses the artist's energy and dynamism. Here, Robb applies paint in urgent, impassioned flourishes; in sensuous, liquid strokes and in broken, scumbled textures. The work demonstrates a lyrical, playful, enjoyment of paint, in contrast to the artist's figurative work, for which he is perhaps best known.

“Amongst the best holograms I have seen are those by British artist Jeff Robb. His abstract landscapes are to my eye perfectly aesthetic objects.”
---Chris Titterington, Curator, Department of Prints and Photographs, Victoria and Albert Museum

Robb's Macroland series evolved from previous holographic and photographic work with landscape and nature, but here, the images are reduced to essential geometric forms. It is easy to associate the colours with those in nature: the yellows and oranges suggest desert; the greens, vegetation; the blues, sky. The blocks, brushstrokes and splatters of paint evoke familiar elements in nature. In particular, Robb admires the work of Peter Lanyon (1918–1964) and Ivon Hitchens (1893-1979), British abstract artists who took inspiration from their local landscape. Many people liken this work to that of Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), whose influence Robb agrees is explicit in these works.

Robb continually pushes the boundaries in 3D image making. He is one of very few artists who have set out to explore the aesthetic and technical possibilities of ‘lenticular’ photography in his fine art practice. His lenticular prints produce an illusion of both depth and movement as the viewer adjusts their field of vision before the work. Robb works in series, where each series is a development from the last in terms of concept and technique.

These lenticular paintings works have a magnetic and magical quality. They are unlike anything else. Encountering them for the first time, it is easy to imagine the shock and wonder of the Victorians at the earliest stereoscopic 3D images. The Macroland series has visual qualities which two-dimensional abstract paintings can only hint at. While some of Robb's brushstrokes lie flat in space, others twist and turn, resulting in a restless, vibrant, aesthetic, sometimes hypnotic experience.

"This show is a real coup for the gallery. All who encounter these images are amazed by the sheer vibrancy of colour and sense of movement Robb has created in the work. This is an experience of extreme 3D depth and projection, unparalleled in contemporary art."
---Richard Mauger, Mauger Modern

The exhibition includes 16 original works including several large ones. A box set is available containing 9 artist-signed lenticular prints and a 43 page printed catalogue with preface by cultural historian Michael Rake, documenting the series.

Jeff Robb’s work can also currently be seen at the National Portrait Gallery until 21 October in the national touring exhibition ‘The Queen: Art and Image’. From 2006-2012, Robb produced a series of portraits of HRH Queen Elizabeth II for light artist Chris Levine, including the now iconic image of The Queen with her eyes closed, The Lightness of Being, © Chris Levine 2007.

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