For over forty years, artist Robert Mirek has cultured an alternate alphabet and built it into sculptural structures rich in meaning. Materials in Mirek’s arsenal include rubber, mylar, thread, stone, pumice acrylic, and glass fragments, embedded into intricately cut plywood forms. Detroit arts-writer Dan B. Jones explains, “His raw ingredients are augmented or terra-formed into landscape features, settlements, and glyphs. All are discrete, but ultimately knowable in relation to one another. Each sculpture possesses its own value and can be appreciated as such but, when taken together a network appears, a constellation of meaning suggests itself”.
Created in the late '90s, Mirek's oil paintings “harken to a kind of rubric of existence, yet discrete and immediate. Like appetites or emotions stripped of person-hood, leaving only the skeletal under-carriage of effect” writes Jones. Sculptures from his series “Thread” (2014-2015) expose his composition’s architecture: “plywood cut and layered to suggest a rigid architecture upended by seemingly chaotic applications of multicolored fibers”. Sculptures from his series “Seeds, Comets, and Shuttlecocks” (2017) are particularly organic, akin to magnificent jewels – individual and unique – placed purposely together to form delicate patterns of color and shape. “Seeds, Comets, and Shuttlecocks” command attention. Simultaneously weird and wonderful, these sculptures spring forth with powerful vulnerability. Jones eloquently writes of Mirek, “he seems to take a suggested, even ethereal, form and layer something substantial above. We are satisfied, yet the dissonance remains, dancing in our periphery. Our minds want to create order out of this dissonance, they demand it, and this is the artistry of Robert Mirek. To define the individual, but to organize it symphonically. To restlessly traverse the networks that connect our worlds, organizing the lights as we search for meaning”.
Mirek was born in Detroit Michigan in 1957. He received his BFA in Painting from the College for Creative Studies. Recent solo and group exhibitions include; Sacred Spaces at Higher Art Gallery, Haute Domain Detroit a new dwelling and exhibition in Detroit, 100 Sculptures: A Survey of Contemporary Sculpture at the Ella Sharp Museum, Abstraction an invitational exhibition by Rick Vian at Janice Charach Gallery, Big Sculpture Show at 333 Midland, Echoes a three-person exhibit at Galerie Camille, and Robert Mirek a solo exhibition at the Detroit Center for Design and Technology.
View images from Mirek's 2019 BoxHeart Exhibition, For Want of Meaning.