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Robert Andrew Parker
"Headache Backstage", Lounging Female Figure, Gouache on Paper

1975

$2,400

About

"Headache Backstage" is a dark and moody example of Robert Parker's Expressionist watercolor work, though in this work he uses gouache in particular. A female figure who is a recurring subject in Parker's works relaxes backstage, suffering from a headache. The use of color gives the scene a rather cool and jazzy atmosphere to it. The art piece itself measure 21 x 27.75 inches. It is signed and dated on the left side. Robert Parker was born in Norfolk, Virginia. At 21 he attended the school of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1948 until 1952. He studied with Jack Levine & Henry V. Poor at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine and at William Hayter's Atelier 17 in New York. Since his first solo show in 1954, Parker has exhibited extensively, and his credits include set designs for opera and film as well as book illustrations. His illustrations have graced more than 90 children's books, plus numerous literary classics by heavyweight authors from Franz Kafka to Joseph Heller. A fine art painter with a populist, improvisational flair, he's also done commissioned illustrations for a rack full of major publications ranging from The New Yorker and Esquire to Sports Illustrated and Playboy. In his watercolors Parker combines areas of pure color with design conceived in terms of silhouette and shape. He takes his subject matter mostly from the natural world—dogs, trees, mountains, people, birds—and condenses and simplifies imagery with a swift, expressionistic technique. During his career Parker has worked in such distinctive locales as Arles and Saint-Remy in France and the Himalayas, where a 1981 walking tour provided the subjects for a series on landscapes and fellow trekkers. “Robert Andrew Parker is one of the most accurate and at the same time most unliteral of painters,” the poet Marianne Moore wrote of him. “He combines the mystical and the actual, working both in an abstract and a realistic way.” Art and jazz have been two long-running passions in the life of Robert Andrew Parker, artist, illustrator, writer and globe-trotting witty water colorist of national renown and a professional jazz drummer of solid repute in the Northwest Corner of the state of Connecticut. Parker's artworks are in the collections of such prestigious venues as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago and, at the New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, Connecticut. His awards include a Ranger Fund Purchase Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, Rosenthal Foundation Grant and a Tamarind Lithography Workshop Fellowship. Photos by PD Rearick

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