Bright and mellow, measured, somber
In the 1980s Robert Natkin began a captivating series of paintings which paid homage to his favorite director, Alfred Hitchcock. Lot 36, Untitled (Hitchcock series), at its surface is a playful composition, but on closer inspection, the painting digs deeper, evoking the spirit of the master director and engaging the viewer philosophically, and harmonizing different motifs into a cohesive feature.
Aesthetically, the Hitchcock series is rooted in Natkin's earlier Bern series - which takes its name from his visit to the Paul Klee Foundation in Bern, Switzerland. Expanding on the whimsy of Klee's inspiration, Natkin developed his now well-known processes of using sponges, netting, rags, and stencils to build color and texture. The result is pure Natkin, at once bright and mellow, yet still measured and not unaware of more somber themes.