Chicago

Robert Lostutter

Dart Gallery

When I first saw Robert Lostutter’s paintings three years ago, I found it difficult to imagine the man who had made them. Contradictions abounded in them with such absoluteness, such refusal to permit any resolution or compromise, that I felt I needed to meet him to assure myself that only one person had done them. (Usually it works the other way around for me: the art makes a singular impression that knowing the artist tends to fracture.) Although I have now had several conversations with Lostutter about painting, and find him a very sensible, straightforward person, this hasn’t helped me to solve the enigma of his work. It remains for me as mysterious as ever.

The surface of the watercolors that he has been doing in recent years is irresistibly sensuous, almost sexy. His backgrounds are usually patterns of sky in which, for instance, a deep blue shades into a rose so gradually that it’s

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