Robert Vickrey, Pet Mouse, 1981

Robert Vickrey, Pet Mouse, 1981


Pet Mouse. Signed 'Robert Vickrey' (lower right). Egg tempera on Gesso panel. Measures: 31 x 23 in (78.8 x 58.4 cm). Painted in 1981.

Provenance: ACA Galleries, New York (acquired directly from the artist). Private collection, USA. With Harmon Gallery, Naples, FL. Sale, Skinner Boston: Friday March 4, 2005 [lot 00607]. Private collection, USA (acquired by the present owner from the above sale).

Exhibited: Roanoke Museum of fine arts, Robert Vickrey July 5, 1984-August 26, 1984.

Literature: Philip Eliasoph, Robert Vickrey: The Magic of Realism, New York, 2008, p.149.

Robert Vickrey, one of America's preeminent realist painters since 1952 when, barely out of the Yale University School of Art, his painting Labyrinth—depicting a nun caught in a bleak labyrinth of corridors—was selected for the Whitney Annual Exhibition. In subsequent years, his paintings, praised for their presentation of the "mysterious in the apparently commonplace," would be chosen by New York Times critic John Canaday as "most surely the world's most proficient craftsman in egg tempera painting." (Alistair Highet, American Arts Quarterly, Spring 2009, Volume 26, Number 2). His intrinsic Mission, according to Virginia Mecklenburg, Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture, Smithsonian American Art Museum, is “Probing (and revealing) a world that is sensed, not seen … Yet for all the meticulous realism of their surfaces, the paintings elicit a sense of time and place that exists only in the hyper-real space of dreams.” As with the present work, the familiar and commonplace is celebrated and lovingly depicted, but a disquieting element enters from the periphery and creates its own light source, transforming the mundane into the supernatural. Vickrey’s work is represented in the permanent collections of over seventy museums throughout the United States, including The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Smithsonian American Art Museum, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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