Rene Robles  
     
     
     
 

Rene Robles, Artist of Our Time - ARTSPEAK New York, November 1992 by Palmer Poroner

"Assertionism," the new series of paintings by Rene Robles, amounts to a manifesto for a new movement in art. A representation of this new work can be seen at Gallery 13,451 West Broadway.

With this new art, Robles is starting an art movement, beginning with his students in New Jersey. It presents a new approach to art, a more direct expression of self and emotion. It represents mature art which has great power. He has been admired in these pages for his consummate skill and his unending curiosity and experimentation. From an early age, he received awards for his painting, both in his native Philippines and in the New York, New Jersey area.

The maturity of the artist is manifested by an assertion of independence. Robles refuses to imitate the Western tradition. He symbolizes this in his work by the frequent presence of empty canvases. In "Palaisipan," an empty canvas sits between the eyes of the artist. In "Three Canvases", a yellow, a white, and a blue canvas float away into space, standing up.

Each painting seems to be simmering with energy. Often, there seems to be a vibration in the paint itself, while other examples gain dramatic power with scale, as with the Jehovah like enormity of the face in the sky of "Assertion III, Palaisipan." "Assertion II, Bayani" is truly satanic in its emergent imagery. However, it is the quality of the paint itself, which sometimes half conceals and otherwise injects an electrifying element, as in "Assertion", Ang Paso," where the man and flowers seem to generate small explosions. Of course, the truly greatest explosion of our age is pictured with tremendous power, a great red figure rising beyond the sky, in "Assertion IV, Pinatubo," the volcano in his native Philippines.

Upon viewing these paintings, one can not hesitate to believe the intensity with which Rene Robles is creating his art. This energy is generated by the acute awareness of the artist that he is doing his best work, that all his skill and knowledge as an artist is concentrated into the white heat of his creation which has come into fulfillment. Thus "Assertionism" can well be the knowledge that one is privileged to be creating the greatest art of which he is capable. Rene Robles is producing that kind of art today.

 
     
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