from World Copy Express, December 1996

            by Catherine DeRiesthal

            It should not surprise anyone familiar with the paintings of
            Robert Sievert from the seventies (1972-1979, his Green
            Mountain era) how his work has grown.  His new work
            has the same depth and spatial savvy exhibited in those
            years, but now moments of great clarity are arrived at by
            deft and knowledgeable brush work, which even in lesser
            paintings is always aggressive and emphatic.  As well his
            color has taken a step.  In Sievert's new paintings there is
            an eschewal of color as color, color has become light, it no
            longer has a formal existence.

               There are two categories of recent work: plein airs, done
            on Staten Island, Long Island, Martha's Vineyard, and
            Brooklyn; and a series of more formal landscapes done in
            his studio.  There is clearly a constructivist's hand at work
            in the larger studio works.  In these paintings he
            first creates large spatial divisions and then paints into
            them with an energetic technique.  However the entire
            painting is totally integrated with color, mood , and
            a fresh painterly surface.  The artist has taken his
            expressionistic impulses and contained them within a
            landscape technique.

               Just as these studio paintings have expansive soaring nature,
            his smaller plein air studies are riveting and intense in
            the manner in which Sievert captures so much with so little
            detail.  The paintings vibrate with accuracy on a holistic
            scale.  The space, light, color and forms ring true and give
            a rendition of the natural world that is visionary.  Here is a
            recent statement by Sievert on painting outdoors:

            " Plein-aire painting is a challenging endeavor.
            I rather think of it like singing or playing an
            instrument.  One must use all of oneself to accomplish
            this act of concentration.  You must focus on the situation
            in front of you and use every trick you have ever learned.
            One gets in shape to paint: truly plein air painting is a
            performance art, and yet there is an outcome, a landscape

               Large studio paintings such as GRAVESEND MIST (1995)
            are clearly the descendents of the 1978 harbor paintings
            in which ships and skyline advanced and retreated in and
            out of painterly space.    Now the environment enveloping
            the ships and structures in the paintings has achieved
            a unity in which gesture, color, and transparency
            form an image of mood and place.

               These landscapes are immersed in the language of twentieth
            century painting.  The artist uses techniques as divergent
            as cubism and expressionism to serve up solid realist images.