Robert Melee


beer bottle caps, plaster, and enamel on wood
38 x 22 inches

Aspects of painting, performance, and sculpture – all important to Robert Melee’s multivalent practice – appear in this compelling work. Melee’s work often brokers a number of conflicts and connections, seen here in the juxtaposition between the kitschy sequined top (leftover from the night out of the title?) and the formal geometry of the reflective black circles. The background derives from Melee’s technique of attaching beer bottle caps to a panel, covering them with plaster, and then painting them. The bumpy, circular texture creates an abstract field, and the bottle caps hint at Melee’s upbringing in New Jersey during the 1970s. The work seems to balance other contrasts as well – the soft, flowing nature of the fabric with the static panel it stretches over, as well as ideas like high vs. low culture, and Pop art vs. abstraction. Robert Melee has exhibited internationally in wide range of public and private institutions. In 2008 the Public Art Fund organized an exhibition of his outdoor sculptures at City Hall Park in New York. He has been the subject of one-person exhibitions at White Cube, London; the Corcoran Museum of Art, Washington; the Milwaukee Art Museum; and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York, among many other galleries and institutions. His work has been included in numerous group shows including Bad Habits, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Wild Exaggeration: The Grotesque Body in Contemporary Art, Haifa Museum of Art; Greater New York , P.S.1 Contemporary Art Museum; Make It Now: New Sculpture in New York at Sculpture Center; and Adaptive Behavior, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York. He lives and works in New York City and New Jersey.