View the etchings of Robert Ernst Marx in Clifton Springs this weekend

Robert Ernst Marx, "Chairperson of the Little Cage Society" (1976), detail of etching on paper

A new exhibition will open at Main Street Arts in Clifton Springs this Saturday, September 23 with a public reception from 3 to 6 p.m. Last Impressions is a collection of rare and rarely seen etchings by Robert Ernst Marx. Etchings included in the exhibition highlight each decade of Robert’s career as a printmaker, with dates ranging from the early 1960s through the early 2000s.

Robert Ernst Marx (1925–2020) had a seven decade career as a painter, printmaker, and sculptor. During this time, he also held teaching positions at the university level; most notably at SUNY Brockport, where he was awarded the title of Distinguished Professor Emeritus in 1990.

Robert was first invited to show his work at Main Street Arts in an exhibition called Being Human, which opened in January 2014. A two-person exhibition was held in April 2017 called Re-Emerging Artists, which included the work of Robert and John Greene of Pine Plains, NY. In 2019, the solo exhibition Silent Voices…Silent Rooms featured Robert’s new drawings and paintings on the main floor along with a selection of etchings on the second floor. Later in 2019, plans for an exhibition to coincide with Robert’s 95th birthday were made. Heavy Metal opened on December 12, 2020 and was the largest exhibition of Robert’s work at Main Street Arts.

Robert’s work has been exhibited internationally and is held in major museum collections, highlights include: The Museum of Modern Art, National Gallery of Art, Seattle Art Museum, and Whitney Museum of American Art among many others. Robert’s work is also included in rare book libraries at the University of Chicago, Yale University, Oxford University, and Harvard University. He received his M.F.A. in 1953 and B.F.A. in 1951, both from the University of Illinois (Chicago, IL).

“I work not only for myself, but also to make a connection with you. I do so as elegantly as I can and with an ambiguity that invites you to join your interpretation with my own. If I am successful, my people will now make eye contact with you…and our dialogue will begin.” —Robert Ernst Marx

The Art Resource Library at Main Street Arts—located on the second floor—was named in Robert’s memory when it opened in 2021 and houses a collection of 2,000 books with a focus on artists, art movements, craft, design, architecture, art instruction, the philosophy of art, and more. Books in the collection range from historical to contemporary and collectively illuminate the impact of the arts on culture, society, and the human experience. Some of the first books donated to the library came from Robert’s studio and will be highlighted during the exhibition.

Also on view starting on Saturday are paintings by Canandaigua-based artist, Angelia Salerno. See work by Angelia in The Stairwell Gallery at Main Street Arts during the opening of Last Impressions. Angelia has varied education and experiences in fine arts, architecture, art history and languages, contributing to an aesthetic that values thoughtful observation of the natural world and our overall connectedness with it as human beings. Her youth was spent wandering the mountains of the Hudson Valley, absorbing its inspirational beauty.

“My painting is like a threshold, once crossed retains its colored signs of closings while preserving the intentions of an ‘unfinished symphony,’ and with clear intelligibility, is an uncorrupted metaphor, impressing a certain clarity on perception, like a clap of thunder, a sudden burst of flame, and an overflowing river.” —Angelia Salerno

Entry into Main Street Arts is free and gallery hours are Tuesday–Wednesday, 11 a.m.–3p.m. and Thursday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Artwork in both exhibitions can also be previewed and purchased at September 23–November 1, 2023.

The Last Impressions exhibition is made possible in part by the Rochester Area Community Foundation.

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