Walter Robinson Show Opens at Mystic Museum of Art

Mystic, CT – Mystic Museum of Art (MMoA) is showing a collection of works by renowned contemporary painter Walter Robinson this fall. The show has been curated by MMoA Executive Director George King. 

Robinson is best known for his paintings of the melodramatic scenes of desire based on illustrations done for pulp paperback covers of the 1940s and '50s. Robinson’s recent series of figurative works is derived from clothing ads in department store flyers, and his ongoing still-life subjects include imagery of every day popular culture, from fast food to common consumer products. In the mid-1980s he exhibited large-scale "spin paintings", in advance of his more celebrated colleague Damien Hirst. In 2014, "Walter Robinson: Paintings and Other Indulgences," a retrospective exhibition of 90 works dating from 1979 to 2012, opened at the University Galleries at Illinois State University in Normal, IL, and traveled this winter to Moore College in Philadelphia; its final appearance to be seen this September at Jeffrey Deitch Gallery in SoHo.  

With illustration-like style and mass market subjects, Robinson's work is akin to both 1960s Pop Art and 1980s Pictures Generation image appropriation. “Pop is all about consumer culture, of course, and Pictures Theory takes note of the oversized role that photographic images play in the construction of our reality,” Robinson says. “The return to representation after the sublimities of Abstract Expressionism, and then again after the intellectual extremes of Conceptual Art, allowed for a particularly sophisticated embrace of the everyday with all its tragedies and comedies,” Robinson continues, about his work. 

Born in 1950, Robinson grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and graduated from Columbia University in New York in 1972. He made himself part of the downtown art scene as both an artist and art critic. He launched the independent newsprint art zine Art-Rite, and wrote for Art in America, eventually becoming the publication's news editor. He collaborated on an early music video for Suicide, and was a cofounder of Printed Matter. In the 1980s Robinson exhibited his paintings with the independent artists' group Collaborative Projects as well as with Metro Pictures in SoHo and several galleries in the East Village. He was art editor of the East Village Eye, and later founded and edited Artnet Magazine, the first online art magazine.  

The Walter Robinson show opens at Mystic Museum of Art on Thursday, September 29 from 5:30 to 7pm, on view daily through November 12 from 11am to 5pm.