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Robert Lyall Flock (1928-2017), Devil's Hole, 1985; oil stick, graphite and pastel on paper, 50 x 38 1/4 inches (frame: 52 3/8 x 40 3/4 inches); First Purchase Award, Niagara Falls: New Impressions, 1985

Robert Lyall Flock (1928-2017), Devil's Hole, 1985; oil stick, graphite and pastel on paper, 50 x 38 1/4 inches (frame: 52 3/8 x 40 3/4 inches); First Purchase Award, Niagara Falls: New Impressions, 1985

Robert Flock makes the hypnotizing power of water crashing into boulders at the foot of Niagara Falls more intense by resisting the stereotypical use of rainbows, as centuries of artists before him have painted. Instead, Flock’s light refracts into dissonant forms, thick wedges, spiraling lines and stippled notes as if musical notations were torn from a behemoth’s score to play in a fourth dimension. Rather than showing us what we would expect to see, he makes us hear the awesome thunderous roar first to ponder how Devil’s Hole may have gotten its name.  – Nancy Weekly 2011