450 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA



March 2 - 27, 2016

Opening Reception
Friday, March 4
6-830 pm

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"Bromfield Friends Celebrate the Life of Rob Reeps"

Rob Reeps: "Milky Way II," acrylic on canvas, 66” x 42”, 1998.


A memorial gathering of friends and Bromfield colleagues to celebrate the life and exceptional art of Rob Reeps.

Robert Baart
Pennie Brantley
Maria Coppola
Jemison Faust
Petri Flint
Erica Licea-Kane
Robert Morgan
Wendy Prellwitz
Rob Reeps


Bringing worlds down to size at the Urdang
by Cate McQuaid
Excerpted from The Boston Globe, January 15, 1998

Rob Reeps: Recent Paintings

When he was 21, Rob Reeps lay back on the hood of his car in southern California and closed his eyes to the sun. The pulsing color he saw against the dark of his eyelids set him on an epic visual journey, in which he has tried to depict everything from the throb of the universe to the rhythm of an atomic particle. Now 47, Reeps makes paintings that act as a funnel for the stuff of life.

His new work at the Beth Urdang Galery hop-scotches from microcosm to macrocosm, landing every so often on scales in between - like human and oceanic. The central image in Milky Way II is the cloudy lavender sparkle of our own galaxy. A painterly storm of blue and red swirls above it on the vertical canvas. But shooting over the entire surface of the painting, like a map of the Freedom Trail gone haywire, are whirling, arcing dotted orange lines depicting the trajectories of a subatomic particle. They weave around chartreuse maps of oceans, which appear brilliant and flat against the galactic depths. To the right, a sunlit cumulus cloud floats like a beacon, something viewers can grab onto to bring us closer to our own scale.

Reeps connects us more solidly to things of our own size in a series of red-on-blue diagrams that runs along the bottom of the painting: the empty face of a clock or compass, a heart, a human brain housed in a skull, a scattering of X and Y chromosomes. The diagrams fit because everything this artist depicts is as much sign as signified.

The painting PG 1613 refers to a point on a grid astronomers have mapped out over the cosmos. Here, a quasar (that's a quasi-stellar object, for those not in the know) burns like a hot coal over the right side of the canvas. The left is filled with a sea of brick-red paint, where the Pacific and Atlantic oceans float. The Atlantic appears again, tilted at a slightly different angle, above the quasar. The red paths of subatomic particles whip loops around the oceans, and the same human-scale diagrams run along the top and bottom, creating a grid.

The science in Reeps's paintings is merely a tool, a handy structure through which the artist can pour the pulse of life, from particular to universal. But it's by way of these tools - these maps, these signs, these paintings - that we come to imagine our universe and ourselves.

Ted Ollier: "A Difference of 8 Protons"

If you’ve ever set foot in a science class, you’ve seen the shape: the stacked boxes of the periodic table of the elements, arranging the building blocks of matter in a sequence that has technical — and mystical — connotations. Mystical? Well, here are the physical materials at their most basic, with their vital statistics dryly tabulated. But the shape is symbolic, the numbers are rhythmic, the chemical symbols Kabbalistic, and, once you get away from the familiar names of common or useful entries, the pseudo-Latin appellations become alchemical, incantatory. Men in robes bent over bubbling crucibles and smoking retorts to learn these dry facts. There is occult meaning here.

That is the basis for this exhibition. These are little installation poems based on the difference in properties between chemical elements separated by eight steps of the periodic table — a difference of eight protons residing in the atomic nucleus. But I am not concerned with terminology or theory in this exhibition — what people think of as “science”, boring old classroom “science”. I wish to show the basis for science and scientific exploration: the variety and beauty inherent at the most basic state of matter.

A difference of eight protons is what makes the difference between black crumbly carbon and gray brittle silicon, between gaseous clear oxygen and solid yellow sulfur. It is small enough that it cannot skip an entire period; it is large enough to have definite effects. Some installations are only one jump; others include more. Some elements are common; others are exotic. Each involves the juxtaposition between state, color, form and containment. And each juxtaposition gives a direct, visceral impression of the inherent magic that drove the mystical alchemists to become physical chemists — in order to tease that magic out into science.




Juried Invitational










































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