Robert Yarber Panic Pending
Text: Herbert Marks
Publisher/Date: Reflex Editions Amsterdam (c. 2014) Published on the occasion of the exhibition in Amsterdam.
ISBN: ISBN-10: 9071848183
Format/Condition: New black cloth hardcover book with dust jacket in Fine condition. 120 pages. Dimensions: 9 3/4 x 13 1/2 inches. Lavishly illustrated in color.
Description: "Panic Pending" comprises 43 works made between 2009 and 2013 by Texan artist Robert Yarber (born 1948), known for his large-scale, psychedelic paintings that inspired the movie of 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.' Combining the influence of ancient pre-Columbian cultures and Mexican art with modern-day schlock horror and comic-strip grotesque, Yarber’s work, at once disturbing and comedic, trashy and mythical, embodies an eternal contemporaneity.
In recent years, Yarber, a Professor of Art at Penn State University, has turned to drawing, a medium which, as he puts it “carries less baggage than painting, and offers a strong immediacy”. Yarber's pastel, pencil and ink drawings were in turn influenced by his time in Nepal, where he became absorbed by the hieratic nature of Tibetan and Buddhist painting. In this volume, Yarber’s palette is dominated by irridescent sherbet tones – a nod to the transcendental, as well as to more populist art forms. He has long been fascinated by the class associations of color – “color has always been considered to be a lower dimension of sensability” – an element he uses playfully to draw in multifarious influences from both high and low art in his work.
Some of the drawings have asubterranean setting, a strange cavernous netherworld presided over by a top-hatted grim reaper – a dapper death figure who has become a sort of mascot in Yarber’s art. These are works that delight, shock and engage in equal measure and which require the viewer to immerse themselves entirely in Yarber’s universe.