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Robert Boynes: Five Decades

Art Collector
July-September 2017
Jane O'Neill

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The bustling streets of New York, Chicago and Sydney provide rich source material for Robert Boynes, who approaches cities as both beguiling and problematic. Through his lens, we apprehend cities as sites of profound alienation or places on the brink of environmental collapse. In the recent paintings Infinite red and To whom it may concern the artist draws attention to the dark layers of bureaucracy that impede the liberation of displaced peoples. He describes how these works are literally traumatized, engaging a complex tussle between the silkscreen print and more intuitive gestural markings. These works may well be executed with a weariness of the world, but Boynes beseeches the audience to look, and look again. Following a survey exhibition at Drill Hall in June, this selection of works from five decades provides a timely overview of the artist's complex understanding of the contemporary urban experience.