“Sometimes Robin’s work can be seen as an assemblage of parts, the parts being groups of smaller ‘things’, wholeness therefore being in the overall shape, form. Mark [Skilton] talked about ‘opening out’ and asked where Robin thought the particular piece he was looking at could go?
Is opening out an extension of language, an extension of content, complexity and variety – certainly variety? Varying the condition of the material to affect the whole, the space, the welcome movement, to introduce ‘pause’ to change the ‘pace’, to create varying kinds of space to take on the dominating groups of over physical material, groups that you feel can be separated, bits taken out, without losing the whole. Tony Smart on Robin Greenwood’s recent Brancaster exhibition, June 30, 2018.
Robin Greenwood has been a formidable advocate of Late Modernist painting and sculpture, but over the last couple years he has been questioning and experimenting with these theoretics and Mannerisms in both his work and his art writing. In Babybath, 2018 (he’s still revising this work) Robin has brought drawing into his sculpture and the work cracks open. The speed of these drawing elements creates an internal visual energy which explodes the collaged elements throughout the interior fractured spaces. There’s something different going on here that feels not quite Modern and not quite Mannered.
“Both these painters [Mantegna and Bellini] make art of such compelling human content that it challenges many things we might assume about the making of abstract art and the scaled-down narrative of its backstory – except, that is, its necessity to be made anew. If we assume that abstract art is different from, and has no need of relations and comparisons with, the greatness of past figurative art, we diminish the possibilities and close down the options of what, in our own present-day context, we are capable of re-inventing as essentially human.” Robin Greenwood writing on National Gallery show, September 30, 2018.