Monday, January 17, 2011
Again, this is a case of this being more about a favorite painter than a single painting. Robert Cottingham came to attention as one of the 1970s Photorealists, a movement that made the photographic source of the image as important as the subject being depicted. The emphasis on technology to aid in making a work of art placed Photorealism in the middle of the Modernist camp, although it related more to Pop than to any of the abstract movements like Abstract Expressionism or Minimalism.
Robert Cottingham's paintings of storefront signs and neon associated with the old and unfortunately often decaying areas of large cities' business districts are innovations on the subject of landscape in the same way Warhol's soup cans and Brillo boxes gave a contemporary spin on the traditional still life. Their sharp and hard edges are appropriate for the subjects, man-made milestones realized by mechanical means.
Recently he has made paintings of typewriters and simplified pieces of machinery, taking his view point from big and up to small and within arm's reach.
All images, I'm quite certain, ©Robert Cottingham.