Robert Mace Bent, figurative abstract visual poetry with nudes

My sense is that the act of painting records, in a form of visual poetry, the practitioners placement in the world and community while leaving behind residuals of intellect and emotion. 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.

In my recent work I have been moving beyond the representational trajectory I established early in my practice. This current work now tends to run along an expressionist/modernist/abstract spectrum.

I like to consider my painting and drawing as aiming for non-fictional expression, not essentially calculated, revealing the immediate decisions of my mark-making and my multiple responses to color and line. I would like the moments of my work-process to be captured in the outcome while at the same time creating a cohesive expression.

An intention of my work is to document the effort to explore and record my responses to the materials in a fashion which reveals the questions and decisions 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.

Art work of one kind or another has always had a place in my life. While living in Texas in the 70’s I began taking art classes at a university and a local museum, got accepted to university art programs in Colorado and Massachusetts and ended up in the East.

Art school didn’t last too long for lots of reasons; moved to Indiana, worked for some lawyers and ended up going to law school. I’ve finally put the practice aside and now devote substantially more time to painting and drawing.
Robert Mace Bent
Jan 3, 2018

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