“It is for him as if there can never be enough beauty, as if there were never a place where nor a time when beauty has not potentially existed, and as if there can never be enough expressions of it.”  – Kaikodo Journal, March, 2014

Each year, Kaikodo Gallery has a spring show. It opens during Asia Week (March 14-22, 2014) in New York City. For the show, they publish a thoroughly researched book, Kaikodo Journal, in which each exhibited piece has a detailed article about it. While they show historical material mostly from China and Japan, I was one of several contemporary artists asked to make something for the exhibition this year. This is a remarkable essay and  a wonderful summation of my philosophy.

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Robert Kushner, White Peonies: A Cumulus Accumulation, 2013

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14 08

Quinces
oil, acrylic, gold leaf on canvas
84″x60″
2014

To be shown next season at DC Moore Gallery. Date to be announced.

“A Dealer’s Eye, and Life: ‘Hooray for Hollywood!’ Recalls Holly Solomon’s Eye for Art”
by Roberta Smith
The New York Times, January 16, 2014

In her article, Roberta Smith covers “Hooray for Hollywood!,” an expansive exhibit at two adjacent New York galleries, Pavel Zoubok and Mixed Greens that celebrate the eclectic eye of ‘Pop princess,’ collector, patron and art dealer, Holly Solomon.

Smith presents Solomon’s early interest in the Pattern & Design movement (P&D) and goes on to single out Robert Kushner’s Wedding Dress (1976):

“While providing a glimpse of the pluralist nature of 1970s art, this show occasionally demonstrates how its disparate strands intersect. Exhibit A is Mr. Kushner’s “Wedding Dress,” a wryly beautiful, rarely seen costume painting from 1976 that consists of an undulant expanse of filmy cream-colored fabric painted with attenuated fleurs-de-lis in red or violet and edged with gold tassels. It reflects Mr. Kushner’s attention to Islamic art and delivers a campy but unavoidable decorative punch while also “dematerializing the art object” — as the Post-Minimalists would say — so much so it could be carried in a shopping bag. This piece is emblematic of its moment but not trapped in it, and should be in a museum collection.”

Click here to read the article in full.

Robert Kushner, “The Wedding Dress,” (1976). Courtesy of the artist and DC Moore Gallery

 

 

 

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Robert Kushner’s exhibition at Carl Solway Gallery includes paintings from 2010 to the present, a small selection of prints and The Four Seasons, four large-scale paintings recently removed from Cincinnati’s Tower Place. The works feature his signature botanical subjects, often set against backgrounds of richly textured geometric patterns.

In 1990, Robert Kushner was commissioned to create paintings for the atrium of Tower Place, the shopping mall adjacent to the Carew Tower. Completed in 1930, the Carew Tower is one of Cincinnati’s finest buildings from the Art Deco era. The mall was a busy center of downtown activity until many of the stores moved to the suburbs. The Tower Place building was recently sold and Carl Solway Gallery was able to rescue the four paintings, 9 feet by 27 feet each.

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To read more about this show, visit the Carl Solway Gallery blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Susan Meller and her robust, profound, abiding love of textiles first crossed my radar in 1991 when I was asked by Artforum to review her astonishing book:  Textile Designs: Two Hundred Years of European and American Patterns Organized by Motif, Style, Color, Layout, and Period by Susan Meller and Joost Elffers (Harry N. Abrams, 1991, 2002). It is a pretty wild roller coaster ride over a glorious and eclectic range of designs gleaned from Meller’s encyclopedic collection which was then housed as a reference archive called The Design Library.

Some years later, Susan asked if I would like to write a short piece for her next book: Russian Textiles: Printed Cloth for the Bazaars of Central Asia by Susan Meller (Abrams, 2007). This material interested me as a collector of Central Asian ikats and embroideries. I had often noticed the remarkable print textiles on the reverse side of my textiles, but I knew nothing about them. Here was an entire book devoted to these Russian export fabrics.  I wrote “More Might Not Be Enough” a send up of the “less is more” aesthetic and a breezy tour of what made these fabrics so much fun to look at.

More recently, our same intrepid Meller undertook the enormous and informative Silk and Cotton, Textiles from the Central Asia That Was (Abrams, 2013). She invited me to identify just what was so interesting to me about Suzanis, the bold embroidered wall hangings that were created until very recently all over Central Asia.  I wrote “Suzani Sonata” a love ode to this remarkable, rich, profound tradition which had become a mainstay of my painting experience.

Click here if you wish to order the book.
Click here to visit Susan’s website and see a preview of the books and her textile collection.

Here is that essay:

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The Gramercy Tavern’s “Cornucopia” Mural

October 30, 2013

The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook by Chef Michael Anthony has just published! Gramercy Tavern is a sophisticated fine-dining restaurant in the Flatiron District of Manhattan—and this is a fabulously mouth-watering, much-anticipated cookbook. I am honored that my twenty panel mural, Cornucopia (1993-1994), commissioned for the restaurant by Gramercy Tavern owner, Danny Meyer, figures within the pages of […]

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We Are Not Begonias. We Come Back.

September 5, 2013

      Maine. So far away. So unknown (at least to me). Yet, once experienced, delightful and seductive. So many artists wax rhapsodic when it comes to Maine and art making. Yet for me, it was a land of limited and distant associations. My primary association with Maine dates back to when my mother […]

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“Robert Kushner: Wildflowers/Garden Flowers” by Hannah Hoel

August 22, 2013

In 2004, Robert Kushner wrote, “Don’t carrot sticks look more inviting when framed by a nipple? And what about a glimpse of hair behind the mesh of a hotdog apron?” Nowadays, food seems to have lost its eroticized quality, with dining relegated to a sterile void while fingering long-stemmed wine glasses amid candlelight is ancient history. […]

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Robert Kushner | DC Moore Gallery | ARTFORUM, February 2013

February 5, 2013

Robert Kushner| DC Moore Gallery “Since the 1980s, Robert Kushner has used flowers as his signature motif, rendering leaves and blossoms in outrageously lush colors and against complex, geometric backgrounds…. Kushner’s work attests to beauty’s fleeting nature and to the cycle of birth and death. Draining the blossoms of color, he accepts the flowers’ fragility […]

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Arpita Singh and Robert Kushner | DC Moore Gallery | ARTnews February 2013

February 4, 2013

“Showing in the larger gallery space were paintings by one of the founders of the Pattern and Decoration movement of the ’70s and’80s, Robert Kushner. Here the artist seemed to be deconstructing his, unabashedly sensual art.” Excerpt from the full review (below) by Mona Molarsky for ARTnews, February 2013.

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