SUNDAY October 6, 5-7pm
The Dedee Shattuck Gallery is pleased to present Beyond Likeness: Paintings and Drawings by Robert Anderson and John Borowicz. Both residents of Dartmouth, Anderson and Borowicz exemplify the talent and artistic richness of the SouthCoast community. Borowicz has regularly shown work in New York City and has had work selected for the BP Portrait Award Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London. Anderson, who has spent a lifetime as an established portrait artist, is perhaps best known for his rendering of former President George W. Bush—a painting that hangs in the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. The art in and of realism and portraiture, though sometimes foreign to the contemporary art world, remains an age-old fascination, a celebrated artistic expression, one that requires extreme skill and training. What is it about portrait painting that, even in a world of photography and movies and computer imagery, continues to draw in viewers? Is there something beyond simply the likeness of the sitter, something more imbued in the paint?
Born and raised in Michigan, Robert Anderson was educated at Yale University and the Boston School of the Museum of Fine Arts. His tours of duty in the US Navy included Vietnam combat service with the Mobile Riverine Force in the Mekong Delta.
In addition to painting privately commissioned portraits since 1973, for fifteen years Mr. Anderson was illustrator for the John H. Breck Company. His pastel portraits appeared in Breck Shampoo print advertising and in commercials on American and Canadian network television. As spokesman for Breck, he appeared on numerous local and network television news programs and talk shows, including CNN's "Take Two" and ABC's "Entertainment Tonight".
Between 1984 and 1989 he was under contract with the United States Postal Service to execute portraits for a number of U. S. postage stamps in the Great Americans Series. Issues include stamps honoring John Harvard, after whom Harvard University is named, Red Cloud, celebrated chief of the Oglala Sioux Nation, and the famous Hunkpapa Sioux Chief Sitting Bull.
Notable commissions include the official portraits of former Massachusetts governors, William F. Weld and Edward J. King, former Yale chaplain and SANE/FREEZE President William Sloane Coffin, and a double portrait of former MIT President and Mrs. Paul Gray. In 2002 President George W. Bush selected Mr. Anderson to paint his portrait for the Yale Club of New York City. Mr. Anderson’s portrait of former Massachusetts Senator Edward W. Brooke was chosen by the senator to appear on the jacket cover of his recently published autobiography, Bridging the Divide - My Life - Senator Edward W. Brooke.
The White House selected Mr. Anderson to paint the official portrait of President George W. Bush for the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, unveiled at the end of 2008. His portrait of former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan was unveiled in August of 2010.
Other recent commissions include Secretaries of the United States Department of Homeland Security Thomas Ridge and Michael Chertoff and United States Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
“My goal has always been to capture both visual and spiritual likeness in an engaging and natural way. The faithful portrayal of a relaxed sitter is likely to evoke the essence of something appealing and familiar about that person, sometimes even to an unacquainted observer.”
Painting can be many things. I make no claim that one of its many manifestations is more important than any other. It can be argued perhaps that through the vehicle of portraiture, painting has the opportunity to operate close to its full potential. When it is imbued with palpable and psychological energy, a portrait delivers an undeniable, if not profound impact — the viewer is linked with subject and painter in a web of identity and empathy that pushes us toward an understanding of what it means to be, to see, and to be seen. Establishing this tangible, energetic connection between people is the ultimate purpose of my work. It is undoubtedly a mysterious enterprise where the target is illusive and the practice is demanding and humbling, but one worthy of full commitment — for even when the goal is not fully realized, the effort toward it can produce intoxicating results.