UNT on the Square exhibition features monumental works of free form painting by professor Robert Jessup

Storm Catcher
Storm Catcher by UNT Professor of Drawing and Painting Robert Jessup will be on display at UNT on the Square from Aug. 25-Sept. 25.
Robert Jessup
Professor Robert Jessup
Ghost of the High Plateau
Ghost of the High Plateau by UNT Professor of Drawing and Painting Robert Jessup.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - 11:16

What: Robert Jessup: Four Paintings, 2014, and exhibition of four vast paintings by University of North Texas painting and drawing professor Robert Jessup

When: Aug. 25 (Monday) - Sept. 25 (Thursday); Gallery hours: 9 a.m. - noon and 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday, with extended hours until 8 p.m. on Thursdays; and 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Saturdays.

Where: UNT on the Square, 109 N. Elm St., Denton

Cost: Free

What else: A reception will take place 5:30 p.m. Sept. 5 (Friday) at UNT on the Square.

DENTON, Texas (UNT) -- Four vast paintings featuring the free form movement of line, shape and color will be on display in the exhibition Robert Jessup: Four Paintings, 2014 -- the latest evolution in style for the professor of drawing and painting in the University of North Texas' College of Visual Arts and Design.

The work will be on display Aug. 25 (Monday) - Sept. 25 (Thursday) at UNT on the Square. A reception will take place 5:30 p.m. Sept. 5 (Friday).

Jessup, a faculty member at UNT since 1991, has exhibited nationally and internationally for more than 30 years and his work is in numerous private and public collections, including Dallas Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The exhibition shows the body of work Jessup made during his tenure as a UNT Institute for the Advancement of the Arts Faculty Fellow. The institute awards two or three fellowships annually to allow faculty members a semester off from teaching to pursue creative research in the arts.

Throughout his career, Jessup's style has gone from storylike paintings with large characters to his current abstract style of freely formed shapes that seek to find their meaning on their own terms. Jessup enjoys the change.

"That's the only reason I paint," he said. "They're voyages of discovery."

Jessup used the time as a Faculty Fellow to develop work that would consolidate a move toward abstraction that began after returning from a month-long trip to Europe five years ago. Though he went with the intention of studying the traditions of Baroque realism, he returned filled with the energy of the radical and visionary art of the early 20th century.

"I came back with the sense of wanting to be more ambitious in my painting," he said.

The UNT on the Square exhibition will consist of four large paintings. A Prisoner in Madrid features the maroons and greens of that city. Storm Catcher is dramatic and moody with dark oranges and greens clashing with blue and blacks. Norseman's Song is more open and lyrical. A Ghost of the High Plateau is active, with shapes interacting and breaking apart.

Jessup always had been productive, creating two to three paintings a month. But the semester off allowed him to double his output. He has nearly 50 canvases from the last year that take up one side of his home studio.

"It's so great the university administration, through its funding and support of the IAA, recognizes how important the creative arts are to UNT," Jessup said.

UNT on the Square is located at 109 N. Elm St., Denton.The gallery is open 9 a.m. - noon and 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday, with extended hours until 8 p.m. on Thursdays; and 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Saturdays. It is closed on Sundays.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108

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