During February and March the George Adams Gallery presents a survey of works by Robert Arneson (1930-1992) in conjunction with the publication of the new monograph by Jonathan Fineberg, A Troublesome Subject: The Art of Robert Arneson, published by the University of California Press. The exhibition, titled Troublesome Subjects, consists of 25 paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints made between 1961 and 1992, and emphasizes the artist’s forays into controversial subject matter such as nuclear proliferation, racial stereotypes, as well as his own struggle with cancer.
The most notable works in the exhibition include the large-scale canvas, Wimp Dip, 1991, a portrait of George H. W. Bush referencing the Gulf War, and from Arneson’s Nuclear Series, the ceramic sculpture A War Memorial, 1983, and a rare color woodcut titled, A Nuclear War Head, of the same year.
Also in the exhibition are works from the Black Series: the two-part sculpture, Chief Executive Officer/ Rapist & Drug Dealer, 1989, and a canvas portrait of Willie Horton, Election Time Again, 1992, both of which directly address issues of racial stereotyping.
Among the self-portraits on view are Pot Picker Pot, 1978, and Pic, 1980, which portray Arneson humorously, perhaps defiantly, picking his nose as if to deny any claim to the making of fine art. I Have My Eyes on Me Endlessly and Portrait at 62 Years are both self-portrait bronzes from 1992; one shows the artist’s lighter side by playing on Brancusi’s Endless Column, 1938, while the latter, starkly patinaed in black and white, addresses his own mortality.
“Troublesome Subjects” will be on view through March 30, 2013.
Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10am-6pm, and Mondays by appointment. For further information on the exhibition, please visit the gallery at www.georgeadamsgallery.com.