When I started trying to promote my own artwork online I kept coming across other people's art that amazed or compelled me in one way or another. This blog has been a way for me to practice thinking and writing about art, as well as learning more about my peers and all the incredible art that is being made out there.

Search for an Artist on this blog (or cut and paste from the list at the bottom of this page)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Robert Ernst Marx

"Be Careful"  oil on linen  34" x 46"  2011

"Dear Prudence"  oil on linen  12" x 10"  2010

"Justice"  oil on linen  12" x 9"  2011

"Legion of Loose Ladies"  oil on linen  28" x 26"  2011

"Tired Helen"  oil on linen  9" x 8"  2010

Robert Ernst Marx is a very well established artist who earned his BFA and MFA in Illinois back in the early 1950s. So he's not the usual young up and coming artist looking for a bit of exposure that I usually try to post. But this is all current work from an artist who is still actively striving to perfect his visual language. He creates fascinating and haunting portraits and figures that employ a highly developed collection of marks, techniques and symbolic props. These people, whether real or imagined, reflect the artist's fairly dark vision of humanity and his own admitted obsessions concerning "...the arrogance of power, the exclusivity of the institutions of church and state, abuse by and of both spouse and child, and our own and others' personal fears and insecurities." But for all the dark brooding pessimism of our all too human nature, there is a haunting beauty to the work that attracts the viewer rather than repels. There is also an ambiguity that invites the viewer to interpret and meditate on the nature of both man and art.
Check out his website: roberternstmarx.com
And you can see much more work at the following galleries:


  1. I just met R E Marx earlier today at the Rochester Contemporary Art Center (NY) and was mesmerized by his work, even during the art talk my eyes were drawn back to his dark, chthonic paintings - they are stark, with infinite depth, his faces so compelling, the type of paintings that could tell story after story for generations to come. And what a humble, kind and soft-spoken man. He shared his process: he works on 20 - 25 paintings at a time, often taking years to complete. Walks into his studio each morning, and looks thru the unfinished canvases and pulls one out. He says most paintings are 4-5 layers of paintings, because he sands them down quite often. Up close there are what I see as a signature symbol, the circle, they appear on every paintings I saw. I could go on and on, but suffice it to say, that all his classical training comes thru in spades, even though the work is so highly innovative. He says it took him 20 years to figure out what he wanted to do with figures, for instance. I wish he still taught since I'm in Rochester for an indefinite period.....but alas, those days are behind him. Thanks for reviewing him, and so glad I stumbled upon your site! Joanie / www.ARTfortheSOULofit.com

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    Stephen E. Ernst