Rob’s work can be viewed in the Vulgar Earth exhibition 1st July – 13thAugust 2017
Rob McCarthy’s paintings come to the Canwood Gallery with “Vulgar Earth.” They aim to introduce visitors to a depiction of the Celtic scenery inspired by the coastlines of Wales and Scotland, Rob McCarthy’s work uses landscapes elements such as sky, sea and cliffs to define human emotions, but in a more expressionist even romantic way. Rob studied under Sir Robin Philipson and was heavily influenced by the Scottish colourists.
“Rob McCarthy’s paintings, hit you like a blow to the guts. He turns the elements of our planet water, rock, earth, moon – into a language of paint that flew past my brain and spoke straight to my soul.
It is the light. What McCarthy does with oils makes water and sky shimmer and glow with luminescence. His oceans, lakes, reservoirs, waterfalls are radiant in the darkness. When his paintings work they are elemental, stripped back to a powerful geometry of place. The rock, the water, the earth, has weight. Gravity, and yet they glow ghostly and ephemeral. He has found a language of the cosmos, the heart and the soul in paint that speaks like poetry.
After visiting one of his exhibitions at ‘Art in general’ – New York, Nancy Grimes wrote of Rob McCarthy that he “Transforms sections of the Scottish coast into brooding psychologically charged vistas. By radically simplifying form, transposing the warm and cool tonalities of landscape into saturated reds maroons and ultramarine sand rendering descriptive detail as ragged streaks and matted patches of pastel he invents a nocturnal hallucinatory world that blurs the distinctions between inner and outer self.”
J White 2015
Rob McCarthy was born in London and attended Hornsey College of Art before going on to Edinburgh College of Art. He has undertaken study tours of Orkney, Los Angeles and Andalucía in Spain. He was an artist in residence at Edinburgh’s 369 Gallery for over 3 years. He received a British Council Travel award in 1988.
Rob McCarthy’s work is held in collections such as Scottish Arts Council, Coopers and Lybrand, Edinburgh City Art centre and private collections throughout Europe and the US.
Rob has exhibited extensively in the UK and the USA.