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The Suffolk - based painter whose artwork is reaching the heights of Hollywood

Orlebar Brown - Rob Wyn Yates
Rob Wyn Yates Prism Artwork

As the German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer once said, “Geometry is the foundation of all painting”.This rings especially true for Rob Wyn Yates, whose acrylic paintings achieve spatial realism using shape and colour with form to convey three-dimensional depictions. It’s not all about the painting though;WynYates sources antique frames that work in harmony with the artwork to give them a universal appeal, adding character to both minimalist interiors and period properties with a rare effortlessness.


Orlebar Brown - Rob Wyn Yates

When did you establish your signature style?

I’ve always painted but throughout time my style has evolved and continuing threads have emerged. Contrast and colour, together with form and shadow have always brought balance and progression to my work.

You use a lot of antique frames for your paintings, where did this idea stem from?

Why should a frame for a painting always be an afterthought? The ‘whole’ can be much more powerful than the ‘separates’. I always wanted to bring the synergy of the two together. This probably stemmed from a painting I was left by my Parisian grandfather, which seemed to have the perfect balance between the two.

What was the starting point for your designs for Orlebar Brown?

A strong brief is the start of any creative process. From there, bringing balance to the compositions with colour and form was my challenge and I’m delighted with the result.

Orlebar Brown - Rob Wyn Yates
Rob Wyn Yates Spectrum Artwork

Can you describe a typical day in your studio?

Having just moved into a new studio nothing is typical nor would I want it to be. Chaos reigns but order is slowly being introduced. One thing is for sure - I love it!

What would be your dream commission?

Filling the turbine hall at Tate Modern using scale and geometry and then turning the private view into a nightclub.

Who or what inspires you?

I’ve always had a great passion for art, design, fashion and interiors but think ultimately nature is the start of everything. Strong contrasts and colour I’ve always found inspiring and this can be found anywhere, from the intricate balance of a bird’s plumage, the shadow of a skyscraper, to the construction of a garment.

What do you love most about Suffolk?

All sorts of things really, from the mix of people, swimming in the sea, emptiness without remoteness, the nature, great food and of course Latitude festival.

What does summer mean to you?

Summer means my birthday (July 4th) so lots of happy memories. It helps that I’m a big fan of the sun and also keen on wild swimming, especially in the sea.

Have you been to any great exhibitions recently?

Modern Couples exhibition at The Barbican, Elizabeth Frink at the Sainsbury Centre, Elizabethan Treasures at National Portrait Gallery, Cedric Morris at The Garden Museum and Dior at the V&A in London; a real mix really.

Where are your favourite galleries in the world?

A long list that has both painting and decorative art galleries… Tate Modern in London, MOMA in NewYork, Peggy Guggenheim inVenice, Kettle’sYard in Cambridge, Pallant House in Chichester. The V&A in London, Musee Rodin, Chahan Galerie and Galerie Van Der Straeten in Paris (my Francophile side).

What’s in the pipeline for 2019? Do you have any trips planned?

Creating a venue at my new studio; the perfect gallery space is attached to the property. Plus I have a couple of shows in the near future, an invitation to exhibit at the Florence Biennale and a painting residency in Madrid in September.There is also the house that friends are renovating in Puglia which I plan to visit over the summer.


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