Simard Bilodeau Contemporary is honored to present The Light Behind The Trees, a collection of works from artists Tyler Keeton Robbins and Michael Nauert. Rooted in exploration and illustration of their natural surroundings, both Robbins and Nauert are masters of abstraction--articulating obtuse gestures of paint with familiar shapes and figures, resulting in immersive, fantastical compositions that seem to be perpetually in motion. Though these two artists' practices are very different, their goals share the same enduring objective: to sincerely depict what organically surrounds them as a means of enlightenment and interrogation.
Both Robbins and Nauert use their art as a means of exposing the “unseen” or “unfamiliar” while they themselves act as obfuscator and exhibitor. Ultimately, they engage viewers from opposing sides of a scope: Robbins taking macro and Nauert with micro. In Nauert’s work, our attention is drawn to a focal point, be it a rendering of a familiar yet unrecognizable organic life-form or a swirling passageway within a dense forest. Conversely, Robbins places us in the forest, surrounded, overwhelmed even, by the intersecting choreography of flora and fauna following their own designated paths. The urgency and movement in both settings is undeniable as these two artists bend light, form, and even depth of color to convey swaying leaves and wriggling insects.
The Light Behind the Trees provides a passageway taken off the beaten path towards a landscape that exists without constraint of conventions. The works of Tyler Keeton Robbins and Michael Nauert are rooted in the fantastic yet common. In each piece, we know where we stand and recognize features around us, without being able to fully grasp the movement and magic that is taking place before us. As if given a key to a secret garden, each piece unlocks a sensory connection that exists somewhere between a long forgotten memory and a completely new perspective on something we might overlook or underestimate--the natural world around us.