Blum & Poe is pleased to announce the worldwide representation of the Estate of Robert Colescott. An exhibition at Blum & Poe, Los Angeles is scheduled for March 2018 and will coincide with Figuring History: Robert Colescott, Kerry James Marshall, Mickalene Thomas at the Seattle Art Museum, and will precede a traveling retrospective curated by Lowery Stokes Sims beginning at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati in late 2019.
Over a nearly sixty-year painting career, Robert Colescott was a proud instigator who fearlessly tackled subjects of social and racial inequality, class structure, and the human condition through his uniquely rhythmic and often manic style of figuration. Colescott's distinctive works, while not easily placed within any one specific school of painting, share elements of Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, "Bad" Painting, Renaissance Painting, Neo-Expressionism, and Surrealism.
Compositions that at first glance seem to tilt and spiral off of their axis are ultimately held together with a masterful sense of balance. Colescott's intense interest in critiquing painting's failure to accurately represent the black experience is manifested in a lifetime of work that offers a revisionist art historical narrative and has subsequently influenced an entire generation of artists.
As noted by the journalist Quincy Troupe: "Like the world they depict, Colescott's polyrhythmic, improvisational paintings are full of surprises -- in juxtapositions of forms and colors, in distortions of scale, in inventions and interplays of space and structure. They are filled with diverse references to the history of art itself, not only in homages to specific paintings, but to the traditional conventions of his chosen medium -- history painting, portraiture, landscape, still life and allegory."
In 1997, Robert Colescott was honored as the first African American artist to represent the United States with a solo exhibition at the 47th Venice Biennale. He was a lifelong professor of painting at academic institutions including the Portland State University, Oregon; University of California, Berkeley; and University of Arizona, Tuscon; and held the distinction of being the first visiting professor of art at the American University in Cairo, Egypt in 1966-67.
His work is represented in the public collections of such notable institutions as the Brooklyn Museum of Art; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, amongst many others.