Walter Robinson's painted images derive from commercial illustrations familiar from the past several decades — pulp novels, posters, romance and movie magazines. Some of his paintings depict standardized types — the soldier or the vamp. Others represent couples enacting scenes of torrid romance. The small scale and self-conscious brushwork of the paintings reflect Robinson's professional ideal of amateurist execution. By detaching commercial illustrations from their narrative context, Robinson shifts the focus of images from the specific to the general. The relocation from advertising to art, from the past to the present, facilitates an assessment beyond the previous simple function. The boundary between cliche and archetype is called into question. Fictional idealization is reduced to the symbolic level of cultural myths. Robinson repaints and preserves these throwaway images more completely than their original context implied.
Walter Robinson was born in 1950 in Wilmington, Delaware, and now lives in New York City. His work has been included in exhibitions at Brooke Alexander Gallery, Grace Borgenicht Gallery, Artists Space, P.S.1, and the Times Square Show in New York; Hallwallsin Buffalo; Texas Gallery in Houston; and Nigel Greenwood Gallery in London. Robinson is a member of Collaborative Projects. Inc., editor of Art Letter, a founding member of Printed Matter, writes for Art in American, and was editor-publisher of Art-Rite Magazine (1973–78).
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