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Bronlyn Jones + Robert Bauer

May 25 - September 8

Bronlyn Jones + Robert Bauer
May 25 – September 8, 2024

The Center for Maine Contemporary Art is pleased to announce the upcoming exhibition featuring work by Bronlyn Jones and Robert Bauer opening on Saturday, May 25th, 2024. Including intimate works made over the past several years, the exhibition is a meditation on chance, choice, and control. 

Pairing sparse, geometric works with precisely rendered portraits and landscapes is perhaps, on the surface, counterintuitive but Jones and Bauer’s paintings and drawings share deep formal and conceptual connections. Powerful yet subtle movements, focused observations, and a slowing down of time come together to create an atmosphere of reverence for the subject, for the material, and the process.  

The exhibition features several graphite drawings by both Jones and Bauer and this process is the root of the works on view. Jones’s attentive drawings in which she meticulously recreates the notebook pages of the likes of Ellsworth Kelly through delicate linework share a kinship with Bauer’s drawings of gardens and fields that show the history of Bauer’s decision-making through layers of softly placed and erased graphite. In fact, both Jones and Bauer use erasure as a tool to distill their works to their most potent essences, mindfully removing the extraneous and keeping only the necessary. 

About the artists:

Bronlyn Jones 

Bronlyn Jones works with particularities. Graphite (various gradations), paper (Basingwerk) and frames (designed by her) are the physical materials she uses to make her works. Drafting tools are valued for both what they do right and what ‘happens’. Mistakes, smudges and blemishes are engaged with as much as the minute choices of proportions, weight and presence. What is actively applied may be selectively removed. What is mistakenly added may not be entirely erased. Absence is hinted at and presence is held in check. Active, passive and the meeting of the two are key for Jones, both in the individual works and in daily life.

Bronlyn Jones’s work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally. Her work is included in numerous private and public collections including; Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, RISD Museum, Providence, RI, Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, ME, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA among others. She lives in Mid Coast Maine. Jones is represented by Krakow Witkin Gallery in Boston, MA. 

Robert Bauer

Robert Bauer’s realist portraits and landscapes are noted for their sensitive and introspective portrayals. There is a palpable sense of life in each of these intimate works, stemming from Bauer’s lengthy painting process and keen attention to subtle detail. These contemplative and pensive faces are drawn directly from the subject as well as from pencil studies and photographs. His landscapes offer plenty of rich detail to take in: they are simultaneously intimate and vast, still and vibrant. 

Robert Bauer is the recipient of three Massachusetts Cultural Council grants, two Pollock-Krasner Foundation grants in Painting (1998 and 2014), and he was a finalist in the 2006 Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition.  Bauer’s work is represented in public and private collections throughout the United States, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, Little Rock, AR; and the Janss Collection of American Realism, Boise Art Museum, Boise, ID. Bauer is represented by Forum Gallery in New York, NY and lives in mid-coast Maine.

Touching on numerous art historical references like the delightfully dutiful grids of Agnes Martin, Lucian Freud’s honest and vivid portraits, and the scrupulous depictions of vastness by Vija Celmins, Jones and Bauer’s paintings and drawings are having a conversation about deep and sincere observation: how can we truly understand what we behold? How can we retain only the essential and what do we need to let go of to do so? In Jones’s Erasure List, a finely typed text list with graphite, the path is laid out for us: what is left out, what is unnecessary, what is resisted, what is inessential, what is rejected, what is too easily said, what is glib, what is overstated, what is edited, what is left unsaid. 

About the curator:

Annika Earley is an artist and curator. She holds an MFA from Maine College of Art as well as an M.Phil from College of the Atlantic and has been a resident at the Ellis-Beauregard Foundation in Rockland, ME, Hewnoaks Artist Colony in Lovell, ME,  Monson Arts in Monson, ME, Pace House Residency in Stonington, ME, and the Walkaway House in North Adams, MA. Earley has been supported by the St. Botolph Foundation in Boston, MA, the New York Foundation for the Arts, The Albert K, Murray Fund, and SPACE Gallery’s American Rescue Plan Grant. Earley’s work is in the collections of the University of Southern Maine and the College of the Atlantic and has been most recently exhibited at THIS Gallery in Vancouver, Canada. She has curated exhibitions at Able Baker Contemporary, Speedwell Contemporary, and Zero Station in Portland, Maine. Originally from rural Switzerland, Earley now lives in mid-coast Maine.

Header image: Robert Bauer, Isabel, tempera on gessoed paper, 12 x 10 inches, 2014.

Footer image: Bronlyn Jones, Untitled, Oil on gessoed paper, mounted on a 3/4″ birch panel in artist’s handmade frame, 10 7/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 2022.


May 25
September 8
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Guy D. Hughes Gallery
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Rockland, 04841
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