Robert Cottingham

American, b. 1935

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Robert Cottingham

American, b. 1935

2,435
Followers
Biography

Robert Cottingham is known as a photorealist, but his meticulous paintings and drawings of pre-digital Americana border on abstraction. Cottingham depicts mid-20-century signs, typefaces, manual cameras, railroad boxcars, and mechanical components, or what he has called “tools of the Everyman,” in various dynamic compositions with intensified color and light. The artist has described his fascination with signs as originating from trips to Times Square as a child: “I think that’s when the seed was planted, when I saw the kind of activity going on above the ground level.” Obsessed with the precise geometry of his subjects, Cottingham’s process incorporates a series of steps that can include sketches, photographs, shapes mapped onto grids, and model construction. His crisp, often-monumental canvases celebrate and accentuate the forms of his subjects while remaining devoid of nostalgia. He lists Franz Kline, Edward Hopper, and the New Realists among his influences.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Group
Group show at a major institution
Serpentine Galleries, and 1 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum
Biography

Robert Cottingham is known as a photorealist, but his meticulous paintings and drawings of pre-digital Americana border on abstraction. Cottingham depicts mid-20-century signs, typefaces, manual cameras, railroad boxcars, and mechanical components, or what he has called “tools of the Everyman,” in various dynamic compositions with intensified color and light. The artist has described his fascination with signs as originating from trips to Times Square as a child: “I think that’s when the seed was planted, when I saw the kind of activity going on above the ground level.” Obsessed with the precise geometry of his subjects, Cottingham’s process incorporates a series of steps that can include sketches, photographs, shapes mapped onto grids, and model construction. His crisp, often-monumental canvases celebrate and accentuate the forms of his subjects while remaining devoid of nostalgia. He lists Franz Kline, Edward Hopper, and the New Realists among his influences.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Group
Group show at a major institution
Serpentine Galleries, and 1 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum
Shows Featuring Robert Cottingham
Articles Featuring Robert Cottingham
10 Masters of Photorealism
Sep 16th, 2013
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