'The Dream', Robert Rush

Painting showing a bright blue spikey shape with a pointed end at the bottom with grey shapes and red lines in the background

Ink and acrylic on paper, 84 x 59 cm, 2008

Artist's statement

Robert Rush’s paintings hang on a nuanced corralling of composition, colour and form. They are arrived at through a process of painting and over-painting, assessing and reassessing arrangements, pushing and pulling, experimenting, but arriving, usually, at a result that looks fresh and immediate. This process is quite fluid. In drawing a line under a shape there is always the possibility that it might expand to become a painted shadow under a form, and that the form may become something else with just a stroke of the brush. The boundaries of painting, drawing and collage are pushed at and negotiated. Rush's practice strives to be constantly reactive and the paintings mutable.

The work invokes sentiments of optimism, happiness and humour on the one hand, yet something altogether more malevolent, manic or hysterical on the other. These sentiments play off allusions to the schematic, organic, figurative and architectural. Elements emerge and dissipate, just as a line becomes a shadow. There are elements of whimsy involved, of visual humour, both light and dark. The works operate in a field of historic references and ideas - both grand and local, held open in their rich, complex and sometimes contradictory fullness.
(From an original text by Alistair Duncan)


Robert Rush was born in Guildford in 1978. He studied at Central Saint Martins London 1999-2001 and the Royal Academy Schools London 2003-06. Recent exhibitions include 'Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2006' Club Row Rochelle School London (touring), 'Planetarium' APT Gallery London 2008 and the solo shows 'Gambit' Lorem Ipsum Gallery London 2008 and 'State of Play' Marksman Gallery Reading 2008.