Robert Medley's career spanned much of the twentieth century. He followed a distinctive path by building bridges between the abstract and the figurative, between public statement and private reverie. His paintings, nonetheless, parallel the concurrent work of artists as varied as Roger Hilton, Graham Sutherland and Peter Lanyon.
What stands out is the sophistication of Medley's touch. As John Berger recently wrote: "What makes Medley's work so rewarding and unusual is its dexterity. Dexterity in its strict sense refers to an inborn or acquired skill in dealing with, or being at home with, the tangible. Something close to the fingertipsDexterity also implies panache, a quality of gesture. One can think of the cast of a master fly-fisherman. The stance of a prodigious violinist. The aim from the shoulder of a champion billiard player. Medley's paintings have the concentration and elegance of such performances."