“Feeding the Fishes” by Robert Hamilton.

Dowling Walsh Gallery will open its 2023 season on May 5 with three solo exhibitions of works by Robert Hamilton, Elizabeth Osborne and Kevin Xiques. A closing reception will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. May 26. For Osborne and Xiques, this will be their first show with the gallery. 

Now in its 16th year, Dowling Walsh specializes in art by leading and emerging artists, especially those connected to Maine. 

Robert Hamilton: Feeding the Fishes

Robert Hamilton (1917‑2004) graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1939. During World War II, he was a captain and P47 bomber pilot, flying one hundred missions and earning a Distinguished Flying Cross. Following the war, he returned to RISD to teach painting and drawing for thirty-four years. Artists Yvonne Jacquette, George Lloyd, David Estey, and Eric Hopkins are among his many students. Upon retiring in 1981, he moved full-time to Port Clyde, Maine, where he devoted the rest of his life to painting. A prolific artist, Hamilton produced over six hundred works, treating the image as a stage for depicting fantastical dreams, and invented narratives that brim with humor, pathos, and an unquenchable zest for life. His love of jazz—his son is the noted jazz saxophonist Scott Hamilton—is reflected in the syncopation of his colors and his invented imagery. “I knew my paintings had to be improvised, spontaneous, made up out of whole cloth, one thing leading to another, accidental, a series of metamorphoses, surprised arrivals, ” he wrote. His friend and neighbor, Andrew Wyeth, called Hamilton “a real painter.”  

In 1974, Hamilton was Artist in Residence at the American Academy in Rome. During the later decades of his career, he chose to exhibit his work primarily at his property in Port Clyde. In 1999, he had solo exhibitions at the Farnsworth Art Museum and the RISD Museum, and in 2011, at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art. His work is in the permanent collections of the Farnsworth Art Museum, the Portland Museum of Art, and the RISD Museum. 

Elizabeth Osborne: Verdant

“Manchester by the Sea” by Elizabeth Osborne.

Elizabeth Osborne has been painted for over 60 years, with a distinguished career from the 1960s to the present. Her luminous images in oil and watercolor bridge formal aspects of color and light with explorations of nature’s changing conditions and atmosphere. Osborne received her BFA from the University of Pennsylvania and studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. She has traveled widely throughout Europe, the American Southwest, Mexico, and the Atlantic Coast from Maryland to Down East Maine, where she lives today. Her paintings bear the imprint of direct observation and specificity of place while also embracing abstraction. The views in her compositions are often outward to the sea or landscape beyond. At their most abstract, Osborne’s works vibrate with expressive lines of intense color, suggesting nature’s radiance. In other images, there is a quiet stillness, a mood of contemplation and introspection, signaling a reflective understanding of art’s spiritual and metaphysical possibilities.

Osborne has had over 40 solo shows and over ninety group exhibitions at museums and galleries throughout the United States. In 2022, a retrospective exhibition of her work was presented at Berry Campbell Gallery in New York. She received a MacDowell Colony Grant, a Fulbright Scholarship, and awards from the Ford Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Her works are in many museum collections, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Delaware Art Museum, James A. Michener Museum of Art, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Woodmere Art Museum, and others. 

Kevin Xiques: This Is For You

“One Broken Rule” by Kevin Xiques.

Kevin Xiques creates lyrical, multi-layered abstract paintings that dance with the marks of his brush. A self-taught artist, he approaches the canvas intuitively, responding to his emotions and guided by the painting process. His palette ranges from delicate veils of pinks, corals, and light blue to intense hues of cobalt, ultramarine, khaki green, and signal orange. Using a variety of brushes and mark-making tools, his lively surfaces bear evidence of his hand. Composed of differently textured lines and shapes that weave and intertwine with deliberate splashes and drips, sweeping strokes, and shuddering fans of color. In several recent works, patches of the canvas are left bare, and shapes extend past the edges. Xiques, who lives in Portland, Maine, began painting in December 2020 and is now completely immersed in his practice. It is a language he feels at home in and finds liberating. He says, “My paintings are the manifestation of the freedom I have gained, and the freedom I am hoping every individual will come to realize.”

Xiques received a BA in philosophy with a film and television studies minor from the University of Vermont. He was awarded a David C. Driskell Fellowship and Black Seed Studio Residency at Indigo Arts Alliance and a SPACE Gallery Studio Grant in Portland, Maine. In 2022, he was selected as one of 18 Maine artists to watch by Maine Magazine.

Dowling Walsh Gallery is at 365 Main St. in Rockland. Visit www.dowlingwalsh.com, or call 207-596-0084 for more information.