Rebecca Gray Rolke

 Rebecca Gray Rolke:    Restive Eye-  Observations of Nature and the City

Bowery Gallery Invitational presents paintings and works on paper by Rebecca Gray Rolke, in her debut solo exhibition in New York City.

A lifelong, restless urge to paint drives Rolke, with a strong impulse to document her ongoing observations of nature and the city.  She states: 

“My personal living situation is about being surrounded by nature; with the beauty of the trees and flowers, the changing skies, bodies of water, and wildlife.  This way of life presents the world in a somewhat micro version; there is opportunity to study the intimate details of nature.  In contrast, the urban built environment is equally fascinating to me, with its macro version of life; especially the often overwhelming scale of things.  Both worlds offer unending journeys to follow in person and in the mind; separately and/or concurrently.  Evidence of each can be seen and experienced within the other; it just takes a willingness to look for them, whatever time of day, whatever time of year.”


Small Birches

” Small Birches”

Intense assessments of the similarities and differences between her immediate surroundings close to nature and the vibrancy of the city inspired Rolke to invent a personal abstract language, which synthesizes the diverse elements of both environments. The viewer is encouraged to visually de-construct each painting discovering hidden nuances along the way.


Sun About to Melt City Ice

“Sun About To Melt City Ice”

Rolke’s paintings have a distinct impasto ; they are built slowly over time.  Of her process she says “many paintings, sometimes twenty or more, exist beneath the surface” of the final canvas.

Ornamental Garden

“Ornamental Garden”

Further describing how deeply she gets into the mysteries of her paintings, Rolke states,   “These paintings are displays of the personal dilemmas encountered during their development, and which ultimately brought them into the world”.


Ryder's Block

“Ryder’s Block”

Rolke states, “My work is very much about a strong belief in the concept of hope- it is future-oriented, even though pursued in its development with undercurrents of the uneasiness encountered along the way”.

“Many forces move me to bring to fruition these works about nature and the city. The concepts of belief, sacrifice, and ultimately hope are part of the evolution of each painting”.

As Christine Temin, writing in the Boston Globe, expressed:  “Rolke offers a more vivid reality than everyday life provides.”


Call It Sleep House

“Call It Sleep House”


Rebecca Gray Rolke:  Restive Eye: Observations of Nature and the City

July 12 – 30, 2016

Opening Reception: Thursday, July 14, 5-8pm

View more works from her show:



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Bowery Gallery

 530 West 25th street, 4th floor,


 Gallery hours: Tues-Sat 11-6pm. For more information, call 646-230-6655.

Artist email:


The Bowery Gallery in Chelsea, NYC has a mission to exhibit work of the highest quality from independent artists. We welcome inquiries for our  two invitational slots each summer.  We are currently inviting artists and artist groups living in the US to apply for the Summer 2017 slots. More info is on our web site, 

-Diane Drescher

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