Robert Vickrey: The Magic of Realism

Apr 26 - Jun 19, 2011
Boca Raton Museum of Art

Robert Vickrey was a crucial figure in the mid-twentieth-century renaissance of egg tempera, one of the oldest, most versatile, and most durable painting mediums. 

This exhibition presents approximately 70 works from Vickrey's 60-year career as the living master of tempera painting. Using the same labor-intensive techniques practiced by Renaissance artists Giotto and Botticelli, Vickrey became America’s leading modern master of this centuries-old medium and is unquestionably egg tempera’s most innovative practitioner. An acknowledged master of this traditional medium, he used egg tempera in original and idiosyncratic ways in paintings which capture the same quietude and mystery as those of American realists Edward Hopper, George Tooker and Andrew Wyeth.

Robert Vickrey mixed egg yolks with ground pigments to create realist images that incorporate symbols and subjects from his personal observations. Vickrey's subjects are distinctly contemporary figures placed in almost surreal landscapes defined by exaggerated shadows and light. His egg tempera works are included in more than 80 American art museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, the Corcoran Gallery, and the National Academy of Design. 

This exhibition is organized with the assistance of Harmon-Meek Gallery, Naples, Florida. Accompanying the exhibition are four publications which include "Robert Vickrey: The Magic of Realism," published by Hudson Hills Press, a 224-page, 170-color-plate volume authored by Dr. Philip Eliasoph, professor of art history, Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Fairfield University, Fairfield, Connecticut.


Robert Vickrey's "Sea Breeze" at the Boca Raton Museum of Art

ROBERT VICKREY (American, 1926-2011 ), Sea Breeze, 1985, egg tempera on board, 20 x 30 inches. Museum Permanent Collection 1993.340. Gift of the artist