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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Robert Cottingham

''Printmaking is an alternative art world. For me, it provides a perfect opportunity to escape the solitude of the painting studio. I relish the spirit of collaboration and experimentation of the print shop, the trial and error procedures, the happy accidents, and the inevitably unpredictable results that this process offers. In addition to all this, printmaking makes visual ideas more accessible.''

Robert Cottingham

Robert Cottingham was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1935 and received his B.F.A. from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY. Cottingham is a painter best-known for his photo-realistic depiction of signs, storefront marquees, railroad boxcars, letter forms, and recently, cameras and typewriters.

Cottingham held his first solo show in New York City at O.K. Harris Gallery in 1971. He has also exhibited in many seminal group shows throughout the United States, France and Germany.

A retrospective exhibition of prints by Cottingham traveled from 1986 through 1991 to thirteen national venues including the Nelson-Atkins in Kansas City, MO; the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; and the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London, Connecticut.

In 1993, Cottingham began his ambitious project, An American Alphabet, completing twenty-six canvases in three years, as well as a corresponding series of watercolors and drawings.

Another retrospective of Cottingham's print media work took place in 1998 at what is now known as The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC. Recently, Cottingham participated in a Lab Grant residency at Dieu Donne Papermill, New York, NY and is represented by Forum Gallery, New York, NY.


Robert Cottingham is a highly regarded American artist and a first generation photo realist. He established himself in the early 1970’s among such renowned artists as Richard Estes and Chuck Close. Born in Brooklyn in 1935, he studied at Pratt Institute and began a brief career in Graphic Design, which later inspired him with his painting of American urban signage.

Highlights of Robert Cottingham’s international public collections include The Art Council of Great Britain in London, The Art Institute of Chicago in IL, Arkansas Art Center in Little Rock, The Baltimore Museum of Art in MD, The Birmingham Museum of Art in AL, The Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, The Cincinnati Art Museum and the Cleveland Museum of Art in OH, The Delaware Art Museum, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum of Art in New York, The High Museum of Art in Atlanta, The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., The Hunter Museum of Art in Chattanooga, TN, the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art in CA, The Ludwig Collection in Cologne, Germany, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Tampa Museum of Art in FL, The Tate Gallery in London, The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, CT.


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