Robert Cottingham Exhibition

Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe

poster for Robert Cottingham Exhibition
[Image: Robert Cottingham "Starr" (1988) Gouache on paper, 16 x 23 1/2 in.]

This event has ended.

AMERINGER | McENERY | YOHE presents an exhibition of works by Robert Cottingham.

Born in Brooklyn, NY in 1935, Robert Cottingham is best known for his paintings and prints of the urban American landscape, which often feature cropped views of neon signs, marquees, building façades, and shop fronts. Though he is considered one of the most prominent Photorealists of the latter half of the twentieth century, he also sees himself as a realist painter continuing in the tradition of American vernacular scenes.

After serving in the U.S. Army from 1955 to 1958, Cottingham earned a BFA from Pratt Institute in 1963 and began his professional artistic career as an art director for the advertising firm Young and Rubicam. Cottingham was soon transferred to Los Angeles, where he was inspired by the kitsch and exaggerated glitz of his new environment. In 1968, he ended his advertising career in order to commit fully to painting. Three years later, Cottingham made his New York debut at O.K. Harris Gallery, and then left Los Angeles for London, where he lived with his wife and daughters until 1976. Viewing himself as “an artist painting American scenes,” he rejected the foreign imagery of the city and made yearly photography trips to the U.S., frequently traveling by Greyhound bus. Cottingham continues to paint from the photos that he took on these long ago road trips.

Though photographs serve as an initial reference point, Cottingham is not beholden to the original image, and often changes the words to alter the meaning of the subject. He works simultaneously on different series and in various media, generating an array of paintings, drawings, and prints from a single image. This exhibition features both recent and earlier works on paper by the artist that depict close views of commercial signage. These fragmented glimpses of the urban landscape have a surreal and enigmatic quality, and highlight Cottingham’s mastery of line, light, and shadow.

Cottingham’s work has been included in significant group exhibitions at Documenta, Kassel, West Germany (1972); Serpentine Gallery, London, England (1973); Centre national d’art contemporain, Paris, France (1974); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (1978); a traveling exhibition at the National Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C. (1986); Samsung Museum of Modern Art, Seoul, Korea (2001); and Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, Germany (2009). The artist’s printed oeuvre was the subject of a solo exhibition at the National Museum of American Art in 1998-99, and a major retrospective of his work was held at the Butler Institute of Art, Youngstown, OH in 2016. Cottingham’s work is currently featured in From Lens to Eye to Hand: Photorealism 1969 to Today at the Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, NY.

His work is in many permanent collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; Tate Gallery, London, England; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; among others.

Cottingham lives and works in Newtown, CT.



from September 07, 2017 to October 07, 2017

Opening Reception on 2017-09-07 from 18:00 to 20:00

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