Robert Kushner, born in 1949, in California, lives in New York, and is a painter and sculptor. He gained attention in the early seventies as a performance artist, using food, fabric and nudity. Kushner was associated with the Pattern and Decoration movement and used fabric collage in large-scale, bold paintings of the figure. Since 1987 he has used flowers as the subject of his paintings, more recently adding a cornucopia of fruits and vegetables to his repertoire. Kushner's use of rich color harmonies and bold, fluid drawing, mark his belief in the importance of beauty in our lives. Kushner has collaborated with Master printer Bud Shark since 1982 on various monotypes and lithographs. These exuberant, sensuous prints often include collage elements, including glitter, chine-collé, metal leaf and hand coloring.
Robert Kushner's recent prints include a new lithograph with gold leaf titled White Lilac and new series of monotypes that include Blue Bells II, Geranium IV, and Oregon Grape III.
Robert Kushner lives in New York and has completed several major public commissions.
He has exhibited his work widely and is represented in the collections of The Brooklyn Museum, Los Angeles County Museum, The Metropolitan Museum, NY, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Tate Gallery, London, The Whitney Museum, NY and others.
In 1997 Hudson Hills Press published the monograph, Robert Kushner: Gardens of Earthly Delight by Alexandra Anderson-Spivey. The New Jersey Center for Visual Arts mounted the survey exhibition Robert Kushner: 25 Years of Making Art in 1998.
About Robert Kushner
Robert Kushner participated in the early development of the Pattern and Decoration Movement in the 1970s, and is known for championing a decorative style of painting. “I never get tired of pursuing new ideas in the realm of ornamentation,” he said. “Decoration, an abjectly pejorative dismissal for many, is a very big, somewhat defiant declaration for me.” Artisanal objects the artist discovered in his travels abroad—particularly Japanese screen doors, Islamic patterns, and Uzbekistani embroideries—strongly affected the development of his organic plant forms, grid-based compositions, and use of bold colors and gold leaf. He was also strongly influenced by Henri Matisse, Georgia O’Keeffe, Gustav Klimt, and the French Nabis painters. Since the 1980s, flowers and leaves have become Kushner’s signature motif.
American, b. 1949, Pasadena, California