The Encyclopedia Britannica was considered the apex of scholarly writing. The Eleventh Edition of 1918 was generally the most comprehensive of them all. Many years ago I saved these volumes from being given away or trashed. But in our current age, they are no more than century old relics. And consequently their elegantly gold stamped leather covers have become the foundation for a series of paintings.
From Salome to Redouté
Robert Kushner in conversation with Aliza Edelman, Independent Curator and Critic
Wednesday, May 16th at 6:30pm
DC Moore Gallery
535 W 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011
Please RSVP to email@example.com
Please join Robert Kushner and Aliza Edelman for a lively discussion about the history of ornamentation and decoration. By revisiting the position of “Pattern & Decoration” as both a condition of modernism and as a vital contemporary art practice, they will address the intersection of fashion, dance, and performance as developed in Kushner’s early pieces from the 1970s, and the radicality of his new artworks’ engagement with surface materiality and narratives of textiles and cloth.
Q&A and reception to follow the talk.
Robert Kushner: Reverie: Duppata-topia on view at DC Moore Gallery through June 16
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
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 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
Robert Kushner: “A Mist of Unknowing”
April 4 – 30, 2018
8/ ART GALLERY/ Tomio Koyama Gallery, Shibuya Hikarie 8F, Tokyo, Japan
Opening reception: Wednesday, April 4, 6pm – 8pm / Artist talk: 7pm
8/ ART GALLERY/ Tomio Koyama Gallery is pleased to present “Mist of Unknowing”, a solo show by an American contemporary artist, Robert Kushner.
Robert Kushner has gained much international recognition as one of the leading figures of the Pattern and Decoration Movement that began in New York in the late 1970s. He has established his idiosyncratic world where an aesthetic sense of West and East overlaps through the influences from European textiles, Fauvism’s freewheeling line which is exemplified by Henri Matisse, as well as Rinpa’s decorativeness. Kushner’s work combines rich colors with botanical forms depicted through freely painted organic lines, and abstracted geometric forms. His work harbors a deeply sensitive compassion toward living things amidst the bold and bright colors that tenaciously entice the viewer.
This exhibition features the artist’s recent works since 2010, which include botanical drawings on collages comprising pages from 19th Century lady’s magazines, dictionaries and Japanese woodblock books. The flowers and leaves upon these nostalgic materials, invite us to a timeless mist of unknowing.
TRACERY AND PLANE: PAINTINGS BY ROBERT KUSHNER
SARAH MOODY GALLERY OF ART, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA
February 8 – March 23, 2018
Gallery talk: Wednesday, February 7, 6 p.m., in the gallery
Reception: Thursday, February 8, 5-7 p.m., in the gallery
The 2018 Farley Moody Galbraith Endowed Exhibition features the work of internationally recognized artist Robert Kushner. Kushner will give a gallery talk about his work on Wednesday, February 7 at 6 pm in the Sarah Moody Gallery of Art, 103 Garland Hall on UA campus. A reception will be held Thursday, February 8, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the gallery.
Kushner (b. 1949) is an American painter known as a founder of the Pattern and Decoration art movement of the 1970s and 1980s. Kushner’s work combines organic representational elements with abstracted geometric forms in a way that is both decorative and modernist. Since the 1980s, he has used a full spectrum of color with gold, silver and patinated copper leaf to render the flowers and leaves, which have become his signature motif. “I never get tired of pursuing new ideas in the realm of ornamentation. Decoration, an abjectly pejorative dismissal for many, is a very big, somewhat defiant declaration for me,” he says. Kushner draws from multiple influences, including Islamic and European textiles, Henri Matisse, Georgia O’Keeffe, Charles Demuth, Ito Jakuchu, Qi Baishi and Wu Changshuo.
His work has been included in the Whitney Biennial and Venice Biennale and is in prominent public collections including Museum of Modern Art; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Whitney Museum of American Art; National Gallery of Art; Corcoran Gallery of Art; Tate Gallery, London; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Honolulu Museum of Art Spalding House; Denver Art Museum; Uffizi Gallery; J. Paul Getty Trust; Ludwig Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia; and Philadelphia Museum of Art. Public commissions include sites in New York City, Tokyo, California and Washington, DC, as well as an 80-foot marble mosaic in the new Raleigh-Durham International Airport.
ROBERT KUSHNER INSTALLATION
375 Hudson, NYC 10014
(between Houston and King Streets)
Gallery Hours: Monday − Friday, 8 am − 6 pm
Opening Reception: Tuesday, November 28, 5-7pm
ON VIEW THROUGH APRIL 2018:
ROBERT KUSHNER, MIDNIGHT IN THE HUNTINGTON LIBRARY CACTUS GARDEN, 2014. OIL, ACRYLIC, AND GOLD LEAF ON CANVAS, 108 X 132 INCHES.
ROBERT KUSHNER, MALINALCO, 2014. OIL AND ACRYLIC ON CANVAS, 90 X 120 INCHES.
ROBERT KUSHNER, SPRING SCATTER SUMMATION (TWO HALVES), 2005. OIL, ACRYLIC, GOLD LEAF AND GLITTER ON CANVAS, OVERALL DIMENSIONS 7 X 46 FEET.
Still life in Robert Kushner’s studio: Scissors, brush, paint, iPhone and paperweight.
© Brett Murphy