Allan Stone Projects is pleased to present Robert Rasely Houses and Birds, on view January 10 – February 16, 2019. In the sixteen paintings selected from the Allan Stone Collection, Rasely’s surreal depictions of houses and birds imbue their subjects with a haunting sense of unease, creating a tension between the real and the imaginary.
Rasely’s paintings envision an altered netherworld. Dream-like interiors, landscapes populated by ambiguous organisms and birds of unsettling awareness are alternately quirky, delightful and ominous. They recall the manic characteristics of a Bosch inferno with the delicate touch of Dutch vanitas paintings. Using fine brushes, ground pigments and a controlled hand, Rasely’s lightly glazed oil-on-panel renderings of chimerical scenes and obscure symbols engage the subconscious. His allegorical imagery of doorways, innards, beauty and decay challenge the viewer to find a concealed meaning within each painting. To wander through Rasely’s enigmatic landscapes is to search for the magic in the everyday, to awaken to the possibilities of alternative interpretation.
A longtime resident of Pennsylvania, Robert Rasely was born in 1950, and grew up in Stroudsburg. He trained at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art from 1978-82. The winner of numerous awards, including the 1978 First Prize Purchase Award of the Esther Klein Foundation and Rittenhouse Art Annual, a 1987 E.D. Foundation Fellowship Grant, the 1988 Clara Obrig Prize, and 1992 Emile & Dines Carlsen Award, both of the National Academy of Design. Rasely had solo shows at Charles Campbell Gallery, San Francisco and Allan Stone Gallery, New York, and was included in group exhibitions at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT; the Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, AK; and the National Academy of Design in New York. His work has been featured in House & Garden, The Christian Science Monitor, Review Art, and ARTnews. Rasely died in 2005.