Robert Kushner’s ongoing fascination with decorative and modernist traditions, the use of fabric as a form of cultural expression, and the interfacing of ‘high’ and ‘low’ traditions is evident in this sumptuous exhibition of new paintings. Robert Kushner: By My Window October 10th – November 9th finds the artist in a complicated dialogue with the traditions of pure painting as well as a conversation with the artisans who created traditional textiles. This body of work also references his own early fabric installations and performance work from the 70s and early 80s. A catalogue will accompany the exhibition, with an interview by Manuela Ammer - curator mumok, Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien – with Robert Kushner.
At this moment in time, the issues brought up by the 1970’s Pattern and Decoration Movement, of which Kushner was a principal proponent, are newly relevant and essential. Global awareness, feminist inquiry, and traditions of the decorative have led to a re-examination of the ideals and concepts of the original P & D artists.
Kushner’s work will be featured in the upcoming Art Basel Miami Beach 2019 art fair along with those of artists Valerie Jaudon and Joyce Kozloff in a themed presentation Pattern and Decoration Continuum. This presentation examines these artists’ early expressions and the ways they each have decided to integrate pattern and decorative content into their ongoing work.
Most recently, Kushner’s work has been included in several national and international museum exhibitions focusing on the Pattern and Decoration movement: Pattern and Decoration: Ornament as Promise at Ludwig Forum, Aachen, Germany, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung, Vienna, Austria, and Ludwig Museum, Budapest, Hungary; Pattern, Crime & Decoration at MAMCO, Geneva, Switzerland, and Le Consortium, Dijon, France; Les Chemins du Sud (The South Ways) at Musée Regional d’art Contemporain, Serignan, France; Less is a Bore: Maximalist Art and Design at Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA; and With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972-1985 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA.
The artist states about his primary subject, "Flowers are always monumental, never trivial. They always bear witness to memories--flowers in our past, flowers casually encountered, sources of beauty, of nostalgia. Whether these recent compositions are anchored by the elaborate repeating patterns and textures of Indian textiles, or relate to floating fields of transparent colors, the flowers assert their importance and dictate the compositions. I want these paintings to be unapologetically decorative, celebrating a mixture of expansiveness, openness, and complexity. Color, line, drawing are the major elements in my painterly repertoire. My new works in this exhibition demonstrate a sense of grandeur, simplicity of composition and exploration of unexpected color harmonies.”
Robert Kushner’s works are included in many prominent public collections including The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Tate Gallery, London; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; The Con-temporary Museum, Honolulu, HI; Denver Art Museum, CO; Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence; J. Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles, CA; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; and Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA.
This exhibition runs concurrently with Stephen Mueller: Gateless Gate.
For all press inquiries, please contact Caroline Magavern.