Walter Robinson (artist)

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Walter Robinson (born 1950) is a New York-based artist and art critic. He has been called a "neo-Pop" painter, as well as a member of the 1980s "Picture Generation."[1][2]

Walter Robinson amidst green foliage, New York State, 2012

Life and education[edit]

Robinson was born in Wilmington, Delaware, and raised in Tulsa. He moved to New York to attend Columbia University in 1968.[3] Subsequently, he graduated from the Whitney Independent Study Program in 1973.[4] He lived in SoHo in the 1970s and the Lower East Side in the 1980s and '90s,[5] and currently has a studio in Long Island City in Queens.

Painting career[edit]

Robinson is a postmodern painter whose work features painterly images taken from covers of romance-novel paperbacks as well as still lifes of cheeseburgers, French fries and beer, and pharmaceutical products like aspirin and nasal spray.[6] He also made and exhibited large-scale "spin paintings" in the mid-1980s, in advance of his colleague Damien Hirst.[7]

A 2014 touring exhibition of Robinson's paintings included more than 90 works dating from 1979 to 2014. It premiered at the University Galleries at Illinois State University in Normal, IL, and subsequently appeared in Philadelphia at the Moore College of Art.[8] The show's final stop was at the Jeffrey Deitch gallery in New York in September 2016.[9]

Robinson's works have been exhibited at several New York galleries since the 1980s, including Semaphore Gallery[10] and Metro Pictures.[11] An exhibition of his paintings, paired with a poem by Charles Bukowski, "There's a Bluebird in My Heart," was on view in Spring 2016 at Owen James Gallery in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.[12]

Art criticism and other activities[edit]

Robinson began writing about art in the 1970s, when he co-founded the art zine Art-Rite in New York's SoHo art district.[13] He subsequently served as news editor of Art in America magazine (1980–96) and founding editor of Artnet Magazine (1996-2012).[14] In 2013-14 he was a columnist for, where his essay on Zombie Formalism appeared.[15]

He also served as art editor of the East Village Eye in the early ‘80s.[16]

Robinson was also active in Collaborative Projects (Colab) in the early 1980s,[17] and in the ‘90s a correspondent for GalleryBeat TV, a public-access television show.[18] He was a cofounder of Printed Matter, Inc, the New York bookstore devoted to publications by artists.

In 2012, Walter Robinson curated the exhibition CLAXONS at the Haunch of Venison Gallery, in NYC. The artists exhibited included John Drury, Robert Goldman and Elizabeth Kley, in addition to Robinson.


  1. ^ Donald Kuspit, "Walter Robinson, Dorian Grey Gallery," Artforum International, Summer 2013, p. 360.
  2. ^ Sarah Schmerler, "Walter Robinson at Lynch Tham," Art in America, Oct. 9, 2014 [1]
  3. ^ Walter Robinson
  4. ^
  5. ^ Walter Robinson, "Kicked Out of 1993,", Feb. 7, 2013
  6. ^ "Walter Robinson: Paintings and Other Indulgences," ed. Barry Blinderman, 144 pp., University Galleries of Illinois State University, 2016
  7. ^ Michelle Grabner, "Walter Robinson, University Galleries of Illinois State University," Artforum International, March 2015, p. 286
  8. ^ Brian Boucher, Artnet News, Jan. 25, 2016
  9. ^ Peter Schjeldahl, "Reality Principle," The New Yorker, Sept. 26, 2016, p. 10.
  10. ^ Regan Upshaw, "Walter Robinson at Semaphore," Art in America, Feb. 1985
  11. ^ Brooks Adams, "Walter Robinson at Metro Pictures New York," Art in America, May 1982, pp. 144-145
  12. ^ "Charles Bukowski / Walter Robinson," Owen James Gallery
  13. ^ David Frankel, "The Rite Stuff: Art-Rite," Artforum International, January 2003
  14. ^ Andrew Russeth, "Art Net: The Life and Times of Walter Robinson,", Jan. 24, 2012 [2]
  15. ^ Walter Robinson, "Flipping and the Rise of Zombie Formalism," Artspace Magazine, April 3, 2014 [3]
  16. ^ Claudia Eve Beauchesne, "East Village Eye," Tunica Studio Magazine No. 4 [4]
  17. ^ Max Schumann, ed., "A Book about Colab (and Related Activities)," Printed Matter, Inc., 2015.
  18. ^ Joy Press, "I Dated Cindy Sherman,", May 2, 2008


External links[edit]