The Wendell Gilley Museum held a members’ reception on August 7 to open Naturally Drawn: Recent Works by Robert Pollien, on exhibit now through October 31, 2013. The artist will deliver a gallery talk at the Gilley on August 21 at 7:00 p.m., which is free and open to the public.
More than 60 people attended the reception to meet the artist and view his art. The exhibition covers 2011-2013 and includes landscapes in graphite and conté on paper, and in oil on linen. Mr. Pollien’s intimate study of crows—primarily in graphite and conté on paper—is also on display, along with a slide show of his photographs of the birds. He describes the Gilley exhibit as “about one-third crow, two-thirds landscape—a good mix.”
Mr. Pollien seeks to communicate the “gestalt” of being in the nature and the elements of Mount Desert Island’s coast. For his crow series, he set up a “crow cam” to capture thousands of photos of the birds’ posture and behavior, which he studied for his drawings.
Nina Z. Gormley, Executive Director and Curator of the Wendell Gilley Museum, explains how befitting Mr. Pollien’s body of work is to the museum: “The Gilley aims to foster connections between people, nature, and art, and Robert Pollien’s work epitomizes our mission. I feel that some part of what Robert experienced, immersed in the outdoors and expressed through his artwork, transfers to the viewers. We are enriched and inspired by being in its presence.”
In 2012, art critic Britta Konau described Mr. Pollien’s work as having “an edge to it that is in keeping with the raw forces of nature his paintings capture. They are full of inner drama. None of the paintings seem to have come easily to Pollien, which I consider the hallmark of a deeply self-reflective and utterly serious artist. These paintings introduce us to a kind of beauty that goes far beyond what is visible to the eye” (“Art Current: Robert Pollien at Dowling Walsh Gallery,” The Free Press, June 20, 2012).
Robert Pollien studied painting at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and earned an M.F.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. He also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. In 1992 he was Artist in Residence at Acadia National Park, and was awarded a Maine Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship in Painting in 2000.
In 2004 Mr. Pollien was a Carina House Resident on Monhegan Island. He then received a Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation Invitational Grant in 2010 to paint on Grand Manan Island. His work is included in Art of the Maine Islands by Arnold Skolnick and Carl Little. Exhibited widely, his paintings are held in numerous corporate and private collections. Mr. Pollien lives in Bar Harbor, Maine. His work and blog are available at pollien.com.
Visit the Wendell Gilley Museum at 4 Herrick Road, Southwest Harbor, Maine, Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Mr. Pollien’s gallery talk, at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 21, is open to the public. Admission is also free on this date, Wendell Gilley’s birthday.