Robert Bissell

Robert Bissell

Artwork

Robert Bissell
Robert Bissell (England, b. 1952) Previously, Bissell’s animal paintings described the human condition allegorically, with animal narratives set in natural landscapes. In his new landscapes, now devoid of animals, Bissell continues to reflect our relationship to nature by depicting the intersection of human endeavor and the natural world. Nowhere is this more apparent than at the edges of our cities where human-made structures imprint on a wild terrain. Bissell’s paintings of suburban scenes illustrate the dichotomy between the natural environment and the creations of humans. However there is no judgment here: we are invited into a meditation and empathy* for the landscape that is presented to us. The scenes we are shown are familiar to us: views we might see on our way to work or on a trip to the local mall. These paintings ask us to pause and observe what is often seen as the mundane and the ordinary. Bissell then shows us that there is a magic and life to those things we routinely consider deadpan. As focused observers of the paintings we can appreciate the beauty in the ordinary things around us. Everyday details we routinely pass by are highlighted by his compositional approach and brushwork. And while these works may appear as photographic realism they are interpreted in a painting style that transcends the limitations of the photographic form. The texture and palpable realism of paint on canvas allow us to discern details differently: how a concrete road ramp has been constructed, how a wild rambling bush grows over an old fence or how the light falls over a modern home. In these paintings, we are also reminded that sometimes beauty goes amiss. We see the flaws and imperfections of our humanness, reflected in the unnaturalness of our constructions but we also see nature’s capricious ways, reluctantly stepping aside or demonstrating a desire to integrate with our human enterprise. Because these are the landscapes we have known all our lives they are part of our history and they resonate with us deeply. We not only see into our own narratives but feel empathy for the extraordinary world at our front door. A word on empathy and the art of “inseeing”: Despite its linguistic roots in ancient Greek, the original concept of empathy is of recent intellectual heritage and comes from work by the German philosopher, Theodor Lipps. The concept began by describing the role it plays in the appreciation of art objects. Lipps originated the then-radical hypothesis that the power of the impact of empathy didn’t reside in the work of art itself but was, rather, synthesized by the viewer in the act of viewing or “inseeing”. The moment a viewer recognizes a painting as beautiful, it transforms from an object into a work of art. The act of looking, then, becomes a creative process, and the viewer becomes the artist. EDUCATION 1974 Royal College of Art, London, England, MFA, Fine Art Photography Manchester College of Art, BFA, Photography 1970 Somerset School of Art, England, painting 1959 Queen’s College, Taunton, Somerset, England, painting Solo Exhibitions 2012-13 Chloe Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA 2001 Plaza Gallery, Bank of America, San Francisco Jacqueline Casey Hudgens Center for the Arts, Gwinnett Center, Atlanta, GA 2000 Mountain View Arts Commission, CA Cultural Conservancy Center/Presidio Alliance, San Francisco Parkersburg Art Center, WV 1999 Albion College, MI Saginaw Museum, MI Erie Art Museum, PA Beauty in the Beast, Maryhill Museum of Art, Goldendale, WA 1998 Museum of Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX Carnegie Art Museum, Oxnard, CA Museum of the Southwest, Midland, TX Chico Art Center, CA Littman Gallery, Portland State University, OR Lane College, Eugene, OR Rogue Community College, Grants Pass, OR 1997 Buckley Gallery, University of Portland, OR GROUP EXHIBITIONS 2017 Artist as Translator, Chloe Gallery, San Francisco, CA 2013 Chloe Gallery, San Francisco, CA 2012 Rarity Gallery, Summer Salon Show, Mykonos, Greece 2009-12 Chloe Gallery, San Francisco, CA 2007 Les Metamorphoses des Fauna, Galerie Princesse de Kiev, Nice, France 2000 Open Studios, Headlands Center for the Arts, Marin, CA 1999 Open Studios, Headlands Center for the Arts 1999 Beauty in the Beast, Maryhill Museum of Art, WA Collections Southwest Airlines, Dallas, Texas Loomis Industries, St Helena, California Duich Investments, Mill Valley, California Touchstone Investments, Portland, Oregon Publications 2013 Hero, The Paintings of Robert Bissell (Pomegranate, Portland, OR) 2012 Arabella: Canadian Art, Architecture and Design, “Artist to Collect: Robert Bissell” – Debra Usher (Fall Harvest: New Brunswick, Canada) 2011 Imaginaire lV, Contemporary Magic Realism (Brusen, Saeby, Denmark) 2010 Imaginaire ll, Contemporary Magic Realism (ibid) 2007 Dreamscape 2, The Best of Imaginary Realism (Salbru, Amsterdam, Netherlands) 2006 Popular Contemporary Writers – Michael D. Sharp (Cavendish, Tarrytown, NY) 2004 Southwest Art Magazine, “Robert Bissell: Down the Rabbit Hole” (June) 2003 Southwest Art Magazine, “Artists to Watch: Robert Bissell” (June) Un jour à la ferme – Pierre Coran (La Renaissance du Livre, Tournai, Belgium) 2002 Le jardin des peintres – Pierre Coran (ibid) 2001 Flora: Gardens & Plants in Art & Literature – Edward Lucie-Smith (Watson-Guptill, NY) 2000 Dog: A Dog’s Life in Art and Literature – Iain Zaczek (ibid) 1999 Cat! Wild Cats and Pampered Pets – Andrew Edney (op cit.) 1999 Featured Artist: Commute Options Week, Bend, OR 1998 Portland Living Magazine, “The Next Beatrice Potter?” – Michael Russell (April/May) 1997 New American Paintings: Juried Exhibitions in Print (Open Studios, Boston, MA) 1997 The Dream Road, paintings by Robert Bissell with short stories (Dreamroads, OR) 1977 British Journal of Photography Annual (H. Greenwood, London, England) Awards 1999 E.D. Foundation Grant, Headlands Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA 1999 Affiliate Artist, Headlands Center for the Arts, San Francisco 1976 Daily Telegraph (London, England) “Sunday Magazine Award” CAREER 1992 Founder and Creative Director, The Good Catalogue Company 1981 Creative Director and Photographer, Sharper Image Corporation
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Artist
atrium with palm, 2017
Robert Bissell

atrium with palm, 2017

oil on canvas

22 x 28 in

roadside landscape, 2017
Robert Bissell

roadside landscape, 2017

oil on canvas

18 x 24 in

Lepus 3
Robert Bissell

Lepus 3

Oil on Canvas

80 x 48 in

Bamboo River, The (Small Works) (0/100), 2017
Robert Bissell

Bamboo River, The (Small Works) (0/100), 2017

Giclee on Canvas

15 x 20 in

Dream, The (0/75)
Robert Bissell

Dream, The (0/75)

Giclee on Canvas

18 x 36 in

Golden Hour, The (Small Works) (0/250)
Robert Bissell

Golden Hour, The (Small Works) (0/250)

Giclee on Canvas

19.50 x 15 in

Majesty (AP Hand-Enhanced) (0/25), 2016
Robert Bissell

Majesty (AP Hand-Enhanced) (0/25), 2016

Giclee on Canvas

48 x 40 in

Portrait, The (Collector Edition) (0/150)
Robert Bissell

Portrait, The (Collector Edition) (0/150)

Giclee on Canvas

30 x 40 in

Swimming Hole, The (Collector Edition) (0/75), 2017
Robert Bissell

Swimming Hole, The (Collector Edition) (0/75), 2017

Giclee on Canvas

20 x 28 in

The Passage (48/50)
Robert Bissell

The Passage (48/50)

Giclee on Canvas

38 x 41 in

AM (Small Sculpture) (0/100)
Robert Bissell

AM (Small Sculpture) (0/100)

Bronze Sculpture

18 x 10 x 8 in

Hero (Small Sculpture) (0/100)
Robert Bissell

Hero (Small Sculpture) (0/100)

Bronze Sculpture

10 x 6 x 7 in

bus stop, 2016
Robert Bissell

bus stop, 2016

oil on canvas

24 x 36 in

search and rescue, 2017
Robert Bissell

search and rescue, 2017

oil on canvas

24 x 30 in

AM2 (Small Works) (0/250)
Robert Bissell

AM2 (Small Works) (0/250)

Giclee on Canvas

14 x 19 in

Chase, The (Small Works) (0/250)
Robert Bissell

Chase, The (Small Works) (0/250)

Giclee on Canvas

12 x 18 in

Drifters (Small Works) (0/250)
Robert Bissell

Drifters (Small Works) (0/250)

Giclee on Canvas

15 x 20 in

Inception (Hand-Enhanced) (0/150), 2016
Robert Bissell

Inception (Hand-Enhanced) (0/150), 2016

Giclee on Canvas

30 x 28 in

Moonlighters (Collector Edition) (0/150)
Robert Bissell

Moonlighters (Collector Edition) (0/150)

Giclee on Canvas

30 x 42 in

Presence I (Small Works) Elephant (0/150)
Robert Bissell

Presence I (Small Works) Elephant (0/150)

giclee on canvas

20 x 12 in

Teasel Field (48/50)
Robert Bissell

Teasel Field (48/50)

Giclee on Canvas

30 x 40 in

Voyagers (Small Works) (0/250)
Robert Bissell

Voyagers (Small Works) (0/250)

Giclee on Canvas

14 x 21 in

Contemplation (Sculpture) (0/100)
Robert Bissell

Contemplation (Sculpture) (0/100)

Bronze Sculpture

15 x 10.50 x 9.50 in

Moonlighters (Sculpture) (0/100)
Robert Bissell

Moonlighters (Sculpture) (0/100)

Bronze Sculpture

9 x 15 x 7 in

deserted interior, 2017
Robert Bissell

deserted interior, 2017

oil on canvas

18 x 24 in

The Cornfield, 2015
Robert Bissell

The Cornfield, 2015

oil on canvas

30 x 40 in

Arising, The (Collector Edition) (0/150)
Robert Bissell

Arising, The (Collector Edition) (0/150)

Giclee on Canvas

21 x 36 in

Decision, The (0/75)
Robert Bissell

Decision, The (0/75)

Giclee on Canvas

18 x 30 in

Enchantment, The (Collector Edition) (107/150)
Robert Bissell

Enchantment, The (Collector Edition) (107/150)

Giclee on Canvas

34 x 24 in

Infinity (Small Works) (0/100)
Robert Bissell

Infinity (Small Works) (0/100)

Giclee on Canvas

12 x 16 in

Ocean Light (47/50)
Robert Bissell

Ocean Light (47/50)

Giclee on Canvas

38.50 x 36.50 in

Reflection II, The (AP Hand-Enhanced) (0/30), 2016
Robert Bissell

Reflection II, The (AP Hand-Enhanced) (0/30), 2016

Giclee on Canvas

45 x 33 in

The Crossing (at Navarro River) (47/50)
Robert Bissell

The Crossing (at Navarro River) (47/50)

Giclee on Canvas

35 x 40 in

Wellspring, The (Collectors Edition) (0/150)
Robert Bissell

Wellspring, The (Collectors Edition) (0/150)

Giclee on Canvas

30 x 45 in

Drifters (Sculpture) (0/100)
Robert Bissell

Drifters (Sculpture) (0/100)

Bronze Sculpture

8 x 17 x 7 in

Rangers (Sculpture) (0/25)
Robert Bissell

Rangers (Sculpture) (0/25)

Bronze Sculpture

16 x 20 x 15 in

FedEx truck, 2017
Robert Bissell

FedEx truck, 2017

Oil on Board

16 x 20 in

Departure
Robert Bissell

Departure

Oil on Canvas

24 x 36 in

Aviators (39/45)
Robert Bissell

Aviators (39/45)

Giclee on Canvas

32 x 44 in

Diver, The (Small Works) (128/150)
Robert Bissell

Diver, The (Small Works) (128/150)

Giclee on Canvas

16 x 15 in

Encounter, The (Small Works) (0/250)
Robert Bissell

Encounter, The (Small Works) (0/250)

Giclee on Canvas

15 x 16 in

Kiss 2, The (Deluxe) (0/75)
Robert Bissell

Kiss 2, The (Deluxe) (0/75)

Giclee on Canvas

30 x 24 in

Peace In The Realm (Collector Edition) (0/75)
Robert Bissell

Peace In The Realm (Collector Edition) (0/75)

Giclee on Canvas

30 x 52 in

Sage Of The Night (Small Works) (0/250)
Robert Bissell

Sage Of The Night (Small Works) (0/250)

Giclee on Canvas

17 x 15 in

The Kingdom (0/75)
Robert Bissell

The Kingdom (0/75)

Giclee on Canvas

14.50 x 72 in

Whole World, The (Small Works) (0/250)
Robert Bissell

Whole World, The (Small Works) (0/250)

Giclee on Canvas

15 x 21 in

Exchange, The (Small Sculpture) (0/100)
Robert Bissell

Exchange, The (Small Sculpture) (0/100)

Bronze Sculpture

10.50 x 9 x 11.50 in

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