Robert Colescott: Works on Paper
Nov 9-Jan 4, 1997

Robert Colescott - after studying in Paris with Fernand Leger and living in Cairo - played a significant role in the resurgence of figuration on the West Coast during the 1960's. He began drawing explicitly upon his experience as an African-American in the mid-1970's, incorporating images from popular culture and making racial parodies of masterpieces from art history. Now 71, Mr. Colescott employs a highly personal brand of narrative figuration, laced with an irony that exposes the ongoing racial inequality within American culture. No one has been more important as a role model for the many young African-American artists exploring the relationship between self-identity, and the social and sexual stereotypes that impede its realization.

Mr. Colescott has been selected to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale in 1997. He is the first African-American artist to represent the U.S. in a single-artist exhibition at the Venice Biennale, and the first American painter whose work is to be shown in a one-person exhibiton at the U.S. pavilion since Jasper Johns in 1988.---text adapted courtesy Phyllis Kind Gallery