Lockhart Gallery celebrates the influence of experimental artist

"Robert Blackburn: Defining Influence"

Lockhart Gallery | 26 Main Street

Tuesday - Thursday (12:30 - 3:30 p.m.)

Friday & Saturday (12 - 2 p.m.)

Open through March 10

The works of Robert Blackburn (1920-2003), Tom Laidman (1927-2010), Larry Potter (1925-1966) and Fritz Glarner (1899-1972) are on display in the Lockhart Gallery on Main Street through March 10.

Each studied under Will Barnet at the Art Students League of New York in Manhattan, and Laidman, Blackburn and Barnet later went on to found Blackburn's Printmaking Workshop in 1948.

The exhibit Robert Blackburn: Defining Influence features a wide range of works from the four artists, focusing predominantly Blackburn and Laidman. It creates a visual display of the artists' progression of styles and the influence they had on one another.

The Library of Congress quotes Laidman on Blackburn's experimental studio atmosphere: "Bob was a dynamo of energy … He'd go right to the stone, draw an image, etch it, roll it up and print it. Then he'd draw on another stone, print that over his first image, then evaluate the result. He always had five or six blank stones around while he was working. He used them like paintbrushes."

This experimentation is evident in Blackburn's finished pieces. His earlier works are stylized but representational, his mid-life works have a much heavier Cubist influence and his later works are more abstract and non-representational.

Harlem Renaissance artists including Charles "Spinkey" Alston, Augusta Savage and James Lesesne Wells mentored and had a heavy influence on Blackburn. According to The Library of Congress, muralists such as Diego Rivera also influenced him in terms of his "conventions of monumentalism" and "social realist iconography."

Laidman's works are created in the style of a painter, using bright, playful colors. His imagery is representational, but highly stylized in most cases.