decoration

Robert Kushner, “Reverie: Dupatta-topia,” at DC Moore Gallery by Robert Kushner

Robert Kushner, Calla Lilies and Roses, 2018 Oil, acrylic, gold leaf, embroidery, sequins, silk on canvas, 72 x 72 inches

Robert Kushner, Calla Lilies and Roses, 2018
Oil, acrylic, gold leaf, embroidery, sequins, silk on canvas, 72 x 72 inches

Robert Kushner: Reverie: Dupatta-topia
May 3 – June 16, 2018

Opening Reception on May 3rd, 6-8pm
DC MOORE GALLERY, 535 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011

Robert Kushner, White Gladiolus, Chocolate Dupatta, 2017 Oil, acrylic, gold leaf, silk, embroidery, and sequins on canvas, 72 x 36 inches.

Robert Kushner, White Gladiolus, Chocolate Dupatta, 2017
Oil, acrylic, gold leaf, silk, embroidery, and sequins on canvas, 72 x 36 inches.

FROM THE PRESS RELEASE: Robert Kushner’s new paintings are a radical departure from his recent work, while harking back to some of his earliest paintings on fabric from the 1970’s and 80’s. This body of work taps into the issues of embellishment and beauty in art that is ever-present in his paintings. For the first time, Kushner is collaging fabric to canvas before adding paint and gilding. The fabrics, mostly silk, come from India, Japan, and Uzbekistan. The flamboyance, sparkle, elegance and technical mastery of all 

of these materials, particularly the Indian embroideries known as dupattas, are endlessly fascinating to Kushner. The textiles are adhered to the canvas or panel, allowing hints of hidden embroidered portions to show through the layers of paint, gilding and collage. This results in a complex surface that could not be created in any other way. This over-the-top richness allows Kushner to continue his explorations of elaborate, dense surfaces and compositions, and to wryly ask, “Is more enough?”

Kushner is seeking a balance between the ornamentation on the dupattas he uses and his own depiction of floral and geometric structures. His use of the fabric’s design, combined with underlying replicating grids, allows him to examine and express the idea of patterns as the substrate of our cultural experiences. The result is a lyrical fusion of Eastern and Western styles and this multiplicity of forms, the extensive layering, and diverse palette allows the mood of the pieces to vary from buoyant and a little giddy, to somber and severe.

 Kushner first visited India in 1978, where he worked with a family of Rajasthani appliqué artists that changed his studio practice completely. He is interested in the handmade qualities of the textiles which offer a human trace to the paintings. He is also drawn to the sense of inclusion, not reduction, present in India’s textiles as seen in the richness and vibrancy of his compositions.

Read about the show: 
May 3, 2018:  ArtDaily: DC Moore Gallery Opens Exhibition of Works by Robert Kushner

May 7, 2018: Blouin Artinfo: Reverie: Dupatta-topia by Robert Kushner

May 25, 2018: Artforum Critic’s Pick: Robert Kushner DC Moore Gallery

June 11, 2018: Blouin ArtInfo: ‘Reverie Dupatta-topia’ by Robert Kushner at DC Moore Gallery

Oxbow School Spring Visiting Artist Lecture Series: Robert Kushner by Robert Kushner

Robert Kushner
Tuesday, March 22, 7pm
Visiting Artist Lecture
Oxbow School, Napa, CA

Robert Kushner,  Large Succulent Garden , 2014, oil and acrylic on joined paper, 54 3/4 x 33 1/2 inches

Robert Kushner, Large Succulent Garden, 2014, oil and acrylic on joined paper, 54 3/4 x 33 1/2 inches

Since participating in the early years of the Pattern and Decoration Movement in the 1970’s, Robert Kushner has continued to address controversial issues involving decoration. Kushner draws from a unique range of influences, and his work combines organic representational elements with abstracted geometric forms in a way that is both decorative and modernist. He has said, “Decoration, an abjectly pejorative dismissal for many, is a very big, somewhat defiant declaration for me . . . . The eye can wander, the mind think unencumbered through visual realms that are expansively and emotionally rich. Decoration has always had its own agenda, the sincere and unabashed offering of pleasure and solace.” On his collages specifically, Kushner writes: “I want to make [my pieces] as diffused and confusing as possible. I want the viewer to time travel as broadly as possible. And so I include papers from as many languages, cultures, times, and places as I can which become a part of the content of the work. In all likelihood no one individual could read all the languages in each collage. Instead of concrete cognition we arrive at a mist of unknowing.”

Kushner’s work has been exhibited extensively in the United States, Europe, and Japan and has been included three times in the Whitney Biennial and twice at the Biennale in Venice. He was the subject of solo exhibitions at both the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Brooklyn Museum. A mid-career retrospective of his work was organized by the Philadelphia Institute of Contemporary Art. Kushner’s works are included in many prominent public collections including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; National Gallery of Art, DC; Corcoran Gallery of Art, DC; Tate Gallery, London; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu; Denver Art Museum; Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence; J. Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles; Museum Ludwig, St. Petersburg; and Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Image: Robert Kushner, Large Succulent Garden, 2014, oil and acrylic on joined paper, 54 3/4 x 33 1/2 inches

Robert Kushner at Jerald Melberg Gallery, March 12 – April 23, 2016 by Robert Kushner

Robert Kushner,  Johnny Jump Up I , 2014, collage, ink and acrylic, 10 x 10 inches

Robert Kushner, Johnny Jump Up I, 2014, collage, ink and acrylic, 10 x 10 inches

Please join Jerald Melberg Gallery for an exhibition of new paintings and works on paper by Robert Kushner. In this recent body of work, Kushner continues expanding the style he has worked in for decades: boldly colored, opulent paintings patterned with flowers and plant forms. The exhibition also includes a series of mixed media collages composed of elements from varied times and worldly locales, overlaid with minimalist flora forms.

Coffee & Conversation
with 
Robert Kushner
Saturday, March 12 at 11:00am

Jerald Melberg Gallery
625 South Sharon Amity Road
Charlotte, NC 28211
704.365.3000

Robert Kushner,  Sungarden II , 2015, oil, acrylic, gold leaf on canvas, 30 x 60 inches

Robert Kushner, Sungarden II, 2015, oil, acrylic, gold leaf on canvas, 30 x 60 inches

Robert Kushner,  Huntington Library Cactus Garden II , 2014, collage, ink, gold leaf and acrylic, 30 x 37 inches

Robert Kushner, Huntington Library Cactus Garden II, 2014, collage, ink, gold leaf and acrylic, 30 x 37 inches

Listen to Robert Kushner’s Gallery Talk at Jerald Melberg Gallery: