Robert Colescott


graphite on paper
25 x 19 inches

In a career that spanned over five decades, Robert Colescott tackled issues of race, gender, sexuality, and politics with a unique, satirical artistic vision. His paintings are uninhibited, unafraid, and tackle some of the toughest subjects of modern American life with a mix of curiosity, immediacy, and horror. Colescott’s style is at times cartoonish, yet painterly and expressive, and though he incorporates numerous historical references and stereotypes, the result is a narrative world that feels wholly invented. As early as the 1970s, Colescott focused on the power dynamics of sex, looking at the underlying forces at play in the male gaze and relationships between interracial men and women. In this drawing from 1973, a curvy woman with oversized breasts prances around in a bikini in a staged moment designed entirely for the consumption of a male audience. In 1997, Robert Colescott was honored as the first African American artist to represent the United States with a solo exhibition at the 47th Venice Biennale. His work is represented in the public collections of Brooklyn Museum of Art; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; MoMA, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; SFMoMA; Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Whitney Museum, New York, among many others.