Robert Mellor’s new show called New Scenarios opens tonight at Irvine Contemporary. For the love of god, please go see this show. Mellor’s technical expertise blows me away and his understanding of color dynamics is nearly perfect. The precision and detail of his work made me wonder if he was some nerdy, anti-social dweeb who washes his hands all the time or never at all. Turns out he is an engaging and cool sophisticate who is at the same time unpretentious and kind – someone I’d want to hang out with.

From the Press Release:

Robert Mellor’s new series of paintings boldly expands his innovative fusion of hard-edge organic composition techniques and original color harmonies. The word “scenario” originally referred to the instructions on the back of painted theater scenery used as directions for actors entering a “scene.” Robert Mellor’s New Scenarios can be viewed as new propositions for visual enactment by the viewer, each work providing cues for engaging with the composition, layer by layer, edge by edge, line by line, color by color. While it can be said that any work of art comes alive as art by a viewer’s active engagement, Mellor foregrounds this relationship by composing works of arresting beauty that compel viewers to re-enact the process of composition with the artist.

In this new series of paintings, Mellor often combines references abstracted from landscape and organic forms, city scapes and architecture, Japanese woodblock prints, and cascading fabric from fashion design in totally new ways. His astonishing and original color harmonies command attention and continually reward viewers who take a contemplative pause and convert compositional space into time. Mellor is also the edge master, sculpting visual space with his hard-edge lines and interplay of forms, working at the edge of figuration and abstraction, building paintings from multiple layers that push the works into three dimensions as substantial objects in their own right. Mellor’s New Scenarios are a set of enticements and seductions for viewers that make a bold, affirmative statement for new directions in painting today.