Boca Raton Museum of Art. Robert Vickrey: The Magic of Realism

Apr 26 through Jun 19, 2011.

Robert Vickrey is a crucial figure in the mid-twentieth-century renaissance of egg tempera, one of the oldest, most versatile, and most durable painting mediums. This exhibition presents approximately 40 works from Vickrey’s 60-year career as the living master of tempera painting. After studying with Kenneth Hayes Miller and Reginald Marsh at the Art Students League, Vickrey (born in New York City 1926- ) went on to Yale in the 1940s, where he learned egg tempera from Lewis E. York.

Using the same labor-intensive techniques practiced by Renaissance artists Giotto and Botticelli, Vickrey has become America’s leading modern master of this centuries-old medium and is unquestionably egg tempera’s most innovative practitioner. As a painting medium, egg tempera has a short drying time, enabling overpainting and revision, and its distinctive matte surface allows for meticulous detail and textural illusion. Vickrey makes changes by scraping paint with a razor, by scumbling, stippling, sponging and sandpapering. An acknowledged master of this traditional medium, he uses egg tempera in original and idiosyncratic ways in paintings which capture the same quietude and mystery as those of American realists Edward Hopper, George Tooker and Andrew Wyeth.

Robert Vickrey continues today to mix egg yolks with ground pigments to create realist images that incorporate symbols and subjects from his personal observations. Vickrey’s subjects are distinctly contemporary figures placed in almost surreal landscapes defined by exaggerated shadows and light. His egg tempera works are included in more than 80 American art museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, the Corcoran Gallery, and the National Academy of Design.

Boca Raton Museum of Art
501 Plaza Real
Boca Raton, FL 33432
Ph: 561.392.2500

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