REDACTED, a new series of work by ground-breaking art photographer Paul Robinson will open at Roberta Moore Contemporary on 22 April. Lyrical and dreamlike, Robinson’s work pushes art photography to its limits, combining and layering images in this abstract, painterly series – a product of the artist’s distinctive photographic eye. REDACTED incorporates several integrated works –from metropolises worldwide – creating a mesmerising series evoked by cities all over the world. Finding inspiration in global travels, Robinson exhibits regularly in the UK, the US and Asia. Capturing the ‘moods’ of cities and the spirits of their people – from Paris, London, Rome and Florence to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Bangkok – multiple exposures combine architecture, portraiture, landscape, light and texture on a single image. The culmination is a panorama of lyricism, poetry, mystery and intrigue.
Redaction, a process associated with combining multiple source texts, is one Robinson has evolved and effectively translated into the purely visual. Forming a collective body of work, the resulting exhibition is definitive and coherent. Uniting cities through his lens, the dreamlike final works are hybrids of time and place – standing as beacons of our cosmopolitan generation.
Paul Robinson has over the years found himself increasingly drawn to painters, rather than photographers. The incredible works of Helmut Newton, Richard Avedon, Henri Cartier Bresson and Guy Bordin, which inspired him to take up photography in the first instance, were joined by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Robert Rauschenberg, Francis Bacon, Otto Dix and Adrian Ghenie. No longer sustained creatively by the limits of photography in its most traditional forms, the clear sharpness he once strived for in a single image was replaced by a more abstract, layered and sometimes blurred aesthetic. Pushing the medium and incorporating others, Robinson’s work is an exploration into processes to layer images without resorting to digital manipulation.
In a previous series In Camera Paul Robinson exercised a structured technique of multiple exposures on film; a following series Transparent involved him stepping out of the camera and layering by hand individual transparencies, reshooting them each time a layer was added. Finally, REDACTED became a form of editing in which multiple images, text and other media were combined and altered – making from them a single work. Extending the Transparent process even further, the incorporation of text becomes even more prevalent.
Paul Robinson: REDACTED, 22 until 27 April, Roberta Moore Contemporary, 28 Cork Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 3NG. www.robertamoore.co.uk
Credits: Tate M, London / Venice, Italy, 2012. © Paul Robinson