Robert Natkin, ‘Untitled’, 1967, Heather James Fine Art
Robert Natkin, ‘Untitled’, 1967, Heather James Fine Art
Robert Natkin, ‘Untitled’, 1967, Heather James Fine Art

About Robert Natkin

Painter Robert Natkin was known for his lyrical abstract forms, applied in vivid, Post-Impressionist-inspired colors. He used both a paintbrush and palette knife to apply his bright acrylic paints to his canvas, sometimes also using cloths or netting as stencils. Though he made a number of series based on popular culture, like Hitchcock’s films and jazz, he declined to think of his work as deliberately narrative. “I sew together fragments of cloth unaware of the dress I’m sewing, unaware of its final look and function,” he once said. On occasion, his subjects were figural; a late series featured abstract heads and busts. Natkin was also famously mischievous. Among his other antics, his daughter recounted an instance in which Natkin licked a Vermeer painting at the Frick Collection when no one was looking.

American, 1930-2010, Chicago, Illinois