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Overview

Bob Dilworth uses painting to tackle issues of race, culture, and ethnicity while depicting family and friends.  Equally important are the structural concept of myths and folktales.  Dilworth is also interested in religious beliefs that may be interpreted through metaphors and allegory.

 

“My paintings employ an aesthetic gesture towards moments in history that run parallel to current times, often intersecting and exploring hidden and deeper meanings of my experience as an African American male.”

 

Dilworth’s current work examines the identity of friends and family and explores notions of home, heritage, ancestry and generational change.  This examination of friends and family members is also seen in decorative patterns, designs and bric-a-brac executed in oil and acrylic paint, spray paint, stencil, paint makers, inks as well as glued, stitched and sewn fabrics and paper.

Biography

Bob Dilworth received his MFA (1976) from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and his BFA (1973) from the Rhode Island School of Design.  Originally from a small, rural town, 50 miles south of Richmond, Virginia, Dilworth employees the fluent use of textiles as an effort to preserve “institutional memory” as its residents leave for more opportunity and the once thriving community is fading into history.  Dilworth has returned to Lawrenceville over the years to interview residents and take photos of their homes, furniture, curtains, quilts and tablecloths that are stories of their lives.  People began giving Dilworth left over swatches of fabric or upholstery and entrusting him with these precious artifacts.  He purchased a sewing machine and taught himself how to sew and then incorporated these material histories into his paintings.

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