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Robert Bent

My sense is that painting records, in a form of visual poetry, the practitioners placement in the world, in community, in what is recognized as reality. Putting color and line on canvas becomes a form of verse with each painter’s dialect revealing the artist’s development and the experience of knowing.

For the most part I take my work in a representational trajectory running along an expressionist/modernist/abstract spectrum. I like to consider my painting and drawing as aiming for non-fictional expression, revealing my decisions about mark-making and my multiple responses to the chosen subjects. I recognize that there are certainly fictional (abstracted) components in individual pieces. My intention, however, is to document the effort to explore and record my responses to the materials, as well as my perceptions of the subject, in a fashion which reveals the questions and tensions flowing from that process.

At the end of the work I hope to sense what I can only describe as balance, rhythm, symmetrical and asymmetrical tensions in color and line. Some suggest that painters paint themselves over and over again. I am fully subscribed to that theory, embrace it and hope I’m not static! What is in my consciousness, as well as what is just beyond its reach, finds its way into expression, whether spoken, written or visual; if painting can bring to consciousness what was obscure or lacked a form of expression, i.e. begged for a form of language, this is a wonderful result, an achievement worth working toward.


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