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 Robert Hollis  (1947 - )

About: Robert Hollis


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Lived/Active: California/Michigan      Known for: figure, land-and seascape painting

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Biography from Adelaide Fine Art:
Robert Hollis was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1947.  His formal art education began when he was 14 at the Cass Technical School of Fine Art.  This provided Hollis with exceptional instruction in the necessary foundational skills for drawing and painting.  In 1965 he was awarded a talent-based scholarship to the Kansas City Art Institute.  From 1971 to 1975, Robert Hollis traveled and studied in Europe and South America.  While in Europe, Hollis’ work was heavily influenced by the old masters and the quality of Mediterranean light.  Canvas preparation took multiple weeks, as the raw linen was stretched by hand, primed with layers of materials, and dried by sunlight.  According to Hollis, “An oil ground applied in many layers and sanded smooth has a magic and integrity all its own.”  Hollis utilized organic minerals and precious stones to mix his own pigments.  He developed his trademark style with vivid colors and stunning visual imagery.

Upon his return to the United States, Hollis began to focus on painting figurative subjects in exquisite detail.  His style had matured, as did his painting technique.

In a discussion with Hollis about his painting style, he described the building up of layers and layers of transparent and translucent pigments as the “molecular disintegration of paint layers”.  “It is what makes them come alive”, said Hollis of his pictures.  His works are organic in quality.  They are richly textural; with patterned surfaces that have such depth that they seem to move and change, as one’s eye travels from color to color in a dance around the subject painted.  But as one views specific details in a Hollis painting, those very areas seem to expand, pushing ones eye beyond to the next color field or pattern.  It is, thus, endlessly exciting to gaze at a Hollis picture, for it is never static.

It is the culmination of 40 years of painting experience that can be seen in the brilliant works by Robert Hollis today.

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