Over the course of his two-decade career, the Slovak-born artist Robert Hromec (born 1970) has been experimenting with materials and technology to update the form. In his latest mixed-media paintings on aluminum plate, abstract form provides the chance to explore art history in a new way.
Robert Hromec’s new mixed-media work comes out of his extensive engagement with traditional forms of lithography and intaglio, but its exciting qualities owe more to his work as a painter, specifically with color and graphic design. In its formal sophistication, innovative use of materials, and atmospheric vitality, the work questions traditional painting even as it adheres to tradition.
More than twenty years ago, while working as a printmaker, Hromec found himself with a number of aluminum plates that, though used up for lithographic purposes, seemed too interesting for him to simply discard. Instead, he began to think of them as a starting point for a new kind of painting—in essence, as a substitute for canvas.
During his eight-year stay in New York City (1990-1998), Hromec experimented with mixing various art techniques to achieve his unique art language, which he calls “printpainting.” Optical illusion plays an important role in his latest printpaintings, with aluminum plate used as the base.