20/11/2013 - 14/12/2013
oil, automotive and gloss paint on Belgian linen
183.00 x 152.00 cm
My fascination of grids really took hold when I lived in New York in 2000 where I painted the first of my Gravity series. For me, they are a kin to being plugged into a very electric energy field, the jolt of existence with hints of history lurking behind. There is a lifeline that runs throughout the world, the point is about extinction and extension.
Robert Doble, 2013
"Electrified in their intensity. Sensualized in their close-knit, sinuous inter-weavings. Robert Doble treats the modernist grid with a rigor never before seen.
The layerings here are like lost languages, a palimpsest, one cord or chord of meaning laid over another until we are lost in an opera of colour.
When most artists tackle the grid the results are formal and anal. When Doble hits the grid all hell breaks loose. We zoom in from above, the billion linking lights fuzzy from the speed, joining like radiated capillaries. This is the Library of Alexandria on lysergic acid. It is New York, Tokyo, London and Melbourne laid one upon another; the traffic sped up to max. It is the 23rd century Jazz Age on steroids. It is sexual drive; that jittery excitement of fleshly discovery. It is the new cyberspace with all portals interconnected and moving at light speed.
And then we slow down and consider the sheer density of paintwork here. For all their insane movement, Doble has considered every link, every colour, every brushstroke. I have been to his ‘studio.’ Once upon a time it was his home; an elegant inner-city apartment. Now it is a shambles. Furniture covered in drop cloths, floor covered in paint-strewn plastic. The sense of urgency, of primal action one sees in these paintings is reflected in their making. No time to seek out a formal studio, no time to waste in getting to work. These pictures reflect a life that consists of bed to brush – a distillation of the past five years.
For these paintings take time. They are dense slabs of physical labour. They are also screens of emotional duress and delight. The extremes of human experience are thus broken down into lattice-works, tapestries and maps. Maps not of physical location but of emotional moments. Thus, as the viewer (or voyeur) we hover above them, drawn by their gravity, drawn into the vortex, a world of electrified experience, every nerve-ending alive to the sensation of simply being."
Ashley Crawford, Ubud, 2013