About "Robert Pruitt: Planetary Survey", March 2 - April 29, 2017, Opening Reception: Thurs., March 2, 6 - 8pm, Artist Walk Through: Sat., March 4, 2pm
"Robert Pruitt: Planetary Survey", March 2 - April 29, 2017, Opening Reception: Thurs., March 2, 6 - 8pm, Artist Walk Through: Sat., March 4, 2pm
Prographica/KDR is pleased to announce "PLANETARY SURVEY: New Drawings", Robert Pruitt's first solo exhibition in the Pacific Northwest. The installation is the artist's fourth solo exhibition with Kopiln Del Rio; the gallery mounted three earlier shows in Los Angeles where it was based from 1982 to 2015.
Pruitt created this latest group of portraits during a period of back-to-back artist residencies, the most recent at The Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, this past fall. The show features works on paper- a combination of charcoal, conté and pastel on hand-dyed or coffee-toned paper- in a variety of sizes. The signature portraits blend elements of science fiction and technology with traditional African patterns and ceremonial sculptures. With this body of work Pruitt is particularly interested in the historic notion of "black escape," a desire to be free from the literal and psychological constraints on the formation of black identity reaching back to slavery. With individual narratives, each figure becomes a conduit for Pruitt to further explore the possibility of a utopian existence rich with African culture and totems, living keenly in an ultra-modern western world.
In his statement for the exhibition, the artist writes:
"This exhibition is a survey of the last two years of my drawing practice. The works on display maintain the signature stark compositions of my work and usual interplay between notions of futurism, traditional world cultures, contemporary black culture and politics. New to my process however is a reduction in the literal representation of these references and ideas. Adornments of headdresses, jewelry and costuming give way to more abstract representations in the form of, amongst other things, absurd hair designs recalling the constructions in the work of Bill Traylor, rocket engine call signs as tattoos and geometric patterning evoking masquerade costumes of Central and West Africa. Along with these references to the fantastic, I apply a deliberate and realistic rendering of the human body as the central axis in recovering an inherent Black humanity."
- Robert Pruitt 2017