Internationally-acclaimed artist Paul G. Oxborough’s work is both contemporary and timeless. Rooted in tradition, the artist seeks inspiration in world travel and finds himself drawn time and again to the challenges of capturing light on canvas in myriad forms—natural and artificial, sun rays and candle flames, bulbs and screens, and countless reflections. Light dances in his signature bar and hotel scenes as it illuminates faces, bounces off glasses, bottles, and mirrors, defines fabrics and reveals textures and colors. As this luminescence moves around the canvas, so do the eyes of the viewer, and the enchanting scene becomes a living moment.
Freddy’s Bar and Old King Cole, are stunning examples of what Oxborough does best, creating a perfect blend of reality and romance animated by the movement of light across the picture plane. Oxborough places the staff members at Freddy’s Bar in Amsterdam and the King Cole Bar in New York City center stage, with their vested uniforms distinguishing their service role and their craft elevated to a sort of performance art. The bartenders at Freddy’s are swimming in a sea of reflections; one is tempted to begin counting the bottles and glasses that shimmer along the mirrored shelves and echo off the gleaming bar. At the King Cole, Oxborough pays homage to his artistic predecessor Maxfield Parrish (1870–1966), whose mural depicting the nursery rhyme’s “merry old soul” provides a regal backdrop to the choreography of the workers’ fluid movements. Light flickers and shines, burns and fades, on glass, wood, fabric, and metal, but nowhere is it more sensitively rendered than on the faces of the people in Oxborough’s paintings. There, the artist’s brush illuminates their thoughts and features, giving them a depth of humanity thoroughly distinguished from their distractingly beautiful environments.
The public is invited to meet the artist at the opening reception on Thursday, November 2, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Cavalier Gallery. The exhibition consists of new works by the artist including many of his signature bar and restaurant scenes and marks the publication of a new monograph that surveys highlights of Oxborough’s career to date.
Gallery hours at the 530 W 24th Street location are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and by appointment. Visit www.cavaliergalleries.com to view the exhibition online.