Curator: Rose Heindel - The Robert Heindel Museum of Art

Painted Walls (1995-2003)

I recall when Bob first started to work on Painted Walls; for some time prior he had been expressing his wish to develop a style that was abstract in way. He’d been painting dance and dancers for nearly twenty years and certainly intended to continued to do so, simply he wanted to do something that was entirely for himself, at least that’s how it started out.

We had travelled in Africa and he had become interested in the traditional decorative style he had seen. He gathered a considerable amount of reference in the form of books, articles along with his own photos and then set about making his interpretations. They were called Painted Walls as they were initially based on the interior and exterior wall decoration he had seen and researched. In order to maintain the sense of scale, all of the early Painted Walls were at least four feet square, often larger, it was only much later that he allowed them to be smaller. Bob also insisted upon framing the Walls to his own design, mostly striking black frames indented and patterned.

From the beginning he explained to me that they were a record of our family and his experiences, this often meant that our sons and myself were represented. Sometimes very distinctively or in others rather obscurely. I asked Bob why he never signed them, he told me that the fact they were personal paintings was his signature, a bit like pages from his diary.

After devoting so much time to the project he then faced the fact that the work needed to be exhibited, but how would his galleries respond? Certainly they were all rather surprised that all the dancers had disappeared! The first time the Painted Wall panels were shown was in London (1996), a mixed show of familiar dance pieces alongside six of the Walls, to his delight five of them sold.

Throughout the rest of his life Bob continued with Painted Walls, he’s found something that allowed him to record his own thoughts and that, I know, gave him much pleasure - they continue to do the same for me.

Sincerely yours,

Rose Heindel (2005)

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