New works reign supreme in Robert F. Irwin's 'New Elements'

"The Bridge" by Robert Irwin."The Bridge" by Robert Irwin.

Artist Robert F. Irwin brings home his first new works in five years for a can’t-miss event at 18 Seaboard.

Coming out of a five-year hiatus, North Carolina painter Robert F. Irwin — a leading regional artist — will have new, never-before-seen rare works on display at his upcoming can’t-miss local exhibit “New Elements” at 18 Seaboard, Saturday, Sept. 23 from 6 to 8 p.m.

The exhibition is presented by New Elements Gallery in Wilmington.

A product of NC State College of Design and a longtime staple on the First Friday circuit — from which he withdrew to retreat to Beaufort — Irwin’s perhaps most recognized for his captivating ever-changing paintings of the North Carolina coastline, which he spent his esteemed half-century-plus career cataloguing.

Affected significantly by his declining health and struggle with Parkinson’s, the self-described “painter’s painter,” who alternates uniquely between his controlled “left brain” and abstract “right brain,” now introduces mixed media works that directly merge his masterly photos with his famed paintings — a striking divergence from the style of his earlier works.

This is a can’t-miss evening with a great master and an unprecedented return to the Triangle for a North Carolina great. Ahead of the show, we asked Miriam Oehrlein of New Elements Gallery in Wilmington for a sneak peek.

RESURGENCE: The show will feature new mixed media works (photographs and oil) by Irwin that were conceived and executed as the painter’s health declines and he is slowed by Parkinson’s disease. Irwin has not created in several years due to his sickness, and through this new process, he has found his voice again to revisit old subjects from his past and completely new subjects.

HOMECOMING: As a product of the College of Design at North Carolina State University, this is Irwin’s homecoming; he is still relevant and one of the last students of the George Bireline and Joe Cox school.

DENOUEMENT: This show will be remarkable because it is not just new works by an old master, but perhaps the last work from a great North Carolina painter. None of these works have been shown in the Raleigh area, and the painter hasn’t lost his finesse. Each piece has a melancholy, a mood, a unique perspective that places the viewer alone in the painting.

Robert F. Irwin’s “New Elements”

When: Sat., Sept. 23, 6 to 8 p.m.; free to the public with light hors d’oeuvres and cash bar
Where: 18 Seaboard, Raleigh


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