Robert Anderson, American (1945 - 2010)

Robert Anderson

Robert Anderson has been painting and printmaking since receiving his Master of Fine Arts Degree from Pratt Institute in 1972. He has been involved with digital image making since 1986, using the computer as a graphical composition tool for planning complicated figurative paintings.

Portraiture has been a dominant category of American painting from Colonial times until the mid-Nineteenth Century. They consisted chiefly of bust or full-length reproductions of people frozen in rigid similar poses. Surveying the contemporary portraiture of Robert Anderson, we see enormous changes, not only in art techniques, but also in national social attitudes and sexual mores since the country's founding 200 years ago.

Anderson's work has, in contrast to his refined photo-realist technique, a definite, causal blu'e-jeaned feeling of the 60's and 70's. Anderson also successfully combines imagery from different eras of American history into modern muses and fantasies. His work has also been called "Victoriana Revisited" which is a description of the sublect matter and overall atmosphere. All of Anderson's canvases are good to look at, a quality that makes their otfbeat manipulation of time and space very acceptable.

Anderson uses a soft focus airbrush technique. He uses shadows to show that his foreground figures are not really part of their settings. His combination of softedged and hard-edged techniques provoke the viewer to wonder if all the elements are truly a part of the same scene. Anderson's paintings are executed in a surrealist vein. Although they celebrate people and faces in a realist way, the atmosphere they evoke reaches into moods.

The moods suggest mysteries of personality, character and the mind; thus, one is confronted with a kind of uneasy psychological portrait that transcends the visual, data of the features and body. The artist achieves his pictorial ambiguity between the real and surreal by the precision with which he depicts an individual and the uncertainty suggested by bold, dark areas and the somewhat telepathic glances of his subjects.

He is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the NJ State Council on the Arts. His recent PUPLP WESTERN, ANGELS & OUTLAWS and SIGNS & DIRECTIONS series combines elements of the old West with images of Hollywood cowboys, pin-ups and science fiction.

  • The University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts
  • Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania
  • Morris Museum of Arts and Sciences. Morristown, New Jersey
  • State University of New York, Brockport, New York
  • Bloomfield College, Bloomfield, New Jersey
  • The County of Morris, New Jersey
  • Broadway Bank and Trust Company, Patterson, New Jersey
  • American Telephone and Telegraph. Basking Ridge, New Jersey
  • 1971
    • New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Traveling Exhibition
  • 1972
    • Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York
    • Park Gallery, Brooklyn, New York
    • New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, New Jersey
    • "Art From New Jersey" The Montclair Art Museum, Montclair. New Jersey
    • "Discovey" The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York
    • "Pratt Printers" Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey
    • Ohio State University, Print Exhibition Pratt Manhattan Center, New York
  • 1974
    • The County College of Morris, Randolph, New Jersey
    • Bloomfield College, Bloomfield, New Jersey
    • Union College, Cranford, New Jersey
    • The Silvermine Guild ot Artists, New Caanan, Conn.
    • New England Exhibition Summit Art Center, Summit, New Jersey
  • 1975
    • Summit Art Center, Summit, New Jersey
    • James Yu Gallery, New York
    • The Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey
    • Hartwick College, Oneonta, New York "16 Contemporary Artists"
    • Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania
    • Discovery Art Galleries, Clifton, New Jersey "Return to Life"
  • 1976
    • The Morris Museum ot Arts and Sciences, Morristown, New Jersey
    • "Viewpoint '76" Wash Art '76, Washington, D.C.,
    • International Art Exhibition Somerset County College, North Branch, New Jersey
    • Tri-State Exhibition State University ot New York at Potsdam "The Presence and Absence in Realism"
    • Fairleigh Dickinson University, Macfison. New Jersey "Spectrum '76"
    • The University ot North Dakota. National Drawing Show
    • The Silvermine Guild of Artists, New Cannan, Conn. New England Exhibition
    • Hunterdon Art Center, Clinton, New Jersey
    • Summit Art Center, Summit, New Jersey
    • Discovery Art Galleries. Clifton. New Jersey
    • "Figures in Light and Shade" Packard Gallery, Akron, Ohio
    • Benedict Gallery. Madison, New Jersey "The American Artist"
  • 1977
    • Joseph Gallery. Westfield, New Jersey
    • The Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey
    • First Biennisi of New Jersey Artists Washington and Jefferson College. Washington. Pa.
    • National Painting Exhibition Summit Art Center, Summit. New Jersey
    • Nabisco lnc. Galleries. Hanover, New Jersey
    • Gallery 9, Chatham. New Jersey Associated Artists of New Jersey
  • 1978
    • Summit Art Center, Summit, New Jersey
    • The Newark Museum. Newark, New Jersey
    • "Artists Eguity of New Jersey" Discovery Art Galleries, Clifton, New Jersey
    • "Dancing Exhibition" Benedict Gallery. Madison. New Jersey
    • Associated Artists of New Jersey Squibb Gallery. Princeton, New Jersey
    • "About Face" Toe New Jersey State Museum, Trenton. New Jersey

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