Continuing his investigation into the individual and the other, the mind and the body, Robert Fry strives towards a new figurative abstraction in this series of paintings.
Starting out as an aerial view of a man and a woman in Partners Study 1, as the series progresses, gender, as well as the lines of interior and exterior, become blurred. The two bodies are seen wrestling, embracing or pulling apart. They move from two curled up balls on opposite sides of the canvas in Study 1 to an embracing unit in Study 9. Each Study opens up a different psychological space, some are visceral and almost violent, evident in the roughness of the brushstrokes and the flesh-like colours. Others are mysterious and ominous, calm and sombre, where the thick layers of oil paint take on an almost velvety quality.