Barbara Krakow Gallery is pleased to present our second solo exhibition of work by Robert Cottingham. While our first exhibition with Cottingham was of his landmark cycle of works, An American Alphabet, this new exhibition takes a wider and deeper historic lens to the artists works with a focus on his early drawings.
Cottingham was born in Brooklyn in 1935, received his BFA from Pratt Institute and then attended the Arts Center College of Design in Pasadena. He began his professional life in Los Angeles as an art director in advertising. His first fine art works took inspiration from the imagery outside his office window. For 45+ years, Cottingham has been making drawings, prints and paintings derived from photographs he has taken. While he is known for his photo-realistic depictions of daily objects, scenes signs, Cottingham does not consider himself a photorealist artists. His work expands, instead of replicating, the photographic image.
This current exhibition, by presenting drawings juxtaposed with prints, shows the essence of Cottinghams works: how he decides on structure and format, what he does to illustrate various visual phenomena, and the active and continually evolving decision making process that he goes through in order to best highlight, isolate and contrast elements and scenes.
Works by Robert Cottingham are in the collections of most major museums in America and have been included in exhibitions of American art, realism, hyper-realism, photorealism and printmaking at museums worldwide. A retrospective of Robert Cottinghams print work was organized and exhibited by the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC in 1998.