Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Robert Shore: "First and foremost, one should try to find oneself as an artist."

For some time, I've been intrigued by the work of an artist named Robert Shore.

(A photo of the artist, circa 1960)

Having stumbled across his illustrations here and there for several years now - but never consistently - I've been curious about where he fit into 'the bigger picture' of illustration in the '50s and '60s.

The first occasion I had to see Shore's work was in a 1957 issue of Collier's.


By no means a big splash of an illustration, but it's charming quality of stylization and energetic painting technique caught my attention.


Then, for the longest time, I could not find another example of Shore's work.


The next time I saw a Robert Shore illustration it was in Redbook magazine. Shore painted a beautiful spread for the December 1962 issue.


But this was somehow different. Yes, there was a lovely textural quality to the paint, much like that earlier Shore piece, but this artwork seemed more realistic (in spite of an obviously deliberate abstraction to the overall design). I wondered, could this be the same Robert Shore?

A couple of years passed before I had my answer. I discovered an article on Shore in the November 1960 issue of American Artist magazine which demonstrated just how diverse Robert Shore's work could be.


The article takes pains to establish that Shore was both a fine artist and a commercial one - and was comfortable and proficient working in many styles and mediums.


Most satisfying of all was reading Shore's own words, in which he describes his personal philosophy regarding picture-making:

"First and foremost," said Shore, "one should try to find oneself as an artist. One should study painting, sculpture, and design, and, infact, investigate all the creative aspects and possibilities in art."


That certainly sits well with me and helps explains why I had felt so pleasantly surprised by each new Robert Shore illustration I came across...

I still don't have a whole lot of this artist's work to share with you - but I have enough - and at last I have some relevant information to accompany the images. This week: a look at the work of illustrator/fine artist/educator Robert Shore.

* Continued tomorrow.

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