Art Brokerage: Robert Solotaire American Artist: b. 1930-2008. Born in Manhattans Lennox Hill hospital on February 11, 1930, Robert Solotaire never truly left his hometown of New York City. But in 1967 Maine became his second home when he and his family moved to Harpswell, the home where he would live out his life. While a student at Bard College Bob created his first oil paintings and painted almost daily until nearing his death October 3, 2008. During a lifetime of painting, interpretations of urban and industrial scenes and natural landscapes were his subject matter. In addition to cityscapes of New York City and Portland, he found inspiration in the landscapes of Maine and New Mexico as well as the steel towns of Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Weirton, West Virginia. Beginning with his early career as a journalist with an uptown weekly newspaper in Manhattan and in public relations with Time Inc., he felt a connection with reporting. Painting to him was a way, pictorially, to report on the neighborhoods and cityscapes he found so fascinating. But the stories were never what you expected. He delighted with the way industrial and urban structures fit into the landscape, the abstraction of horizontals and verticals, lights and darks. The intricate geometry of industrial installation, either by itself as an exercise in linear perspective, such as 138th Street Bridge V; or industrial commonplaces set within a broader landscape setting such as York Street, were particularly alluring design challenges for the artist. One of Bob Solotaire's major influences was the painter Stephen Etnier (1903-1984). Solotaire credited him as the person who persuaded him to work outdoors directly from nature, and who made him aware that there is a marvelous equation between paint and reality. Robert Solotaire's work is represented in the permanent collections of the Portland Museum of Art and the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, and in homes across the country.