The sensual, physical presence of a Robert Sagerman painting is derived from both the brilliantly colored mass of assembled dabs of oil paint, and the conceptual foundation of the artist's contemplative process. Using intensely colored paint that he mixes himself, Sagerman adds "mark" upon "mark" of thick paint to create a painting as much as 3 inches deep and made up of thousands of marks, resulting in work that crosses boundaries between painting and sculpture. The color field paintings are painstakingly documented as they are created by the artist, who counts and records each mark of each color and the time spent applying them. The titles of the final paintings represent the total number of marks, for example, "12,902". From the beginning of his practice, Sagerman, who earned a Ph.D. in Hebrew and Judaic Studies from New York University in 2008, has been inspired by medieval Jewish mystics who engaged in a form of meditation through counting, that the kabbalists believed could bring the meditator to a state of divine clarity and transcendence. The upcoming exhibition is aptly titled "Openings" as Sagerman includes new compositional ideas aside the ongoing monochromatic works. Incorporating gradations of value and color edge to edge of the painting, as well as circles of color blooming within the rectangle of the canvas, Sagerman's new paintings are dynamic with movement and energy.
Robert Sagerman earned his M.A. in Painting and M.A. in Art History from the Pratt Institute in 1998, his M.A. in Religious Studies in 2000 from New York University and his Ph.D. in Hebrew and Judaic Studies from New York University in 2008. Sagerman has exhibited extensively nationally and internationally in museums, galleries and art fairs since 1993.