Blog / Robert Pruitt: “deliberation and grace”

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By Wendy

If you visit the Nasher Museum once in a while, you know that our permanent collection of contemporary art is growing at an exciting pace, with a focus on work by artists of African descent.
We have made some fantastic new acquisitions to the collection lately, including a recent work on paper by Robert A. Pruitt called “Flux” (pictured above). Read more about other recent acquisitions here.
Right away, Trevor Schoonmaker, Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher Curator of Contemporary Art, appreciated that “Flux” builds on the portraiture of artist Barkley L. Hendricks. The work provides a bridge to the magical realism and accumulation of objects found in the work of William Cordova, Trevor says. Pruitt’s drawing also complements the figurative work of Kehinde Wiley, Noah Davis, Xaviera Simmons, Jeff Sonhouse, Mickalene Thomas and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye–all artists represented in our permanent collection.
We were thrilled to see a review of Pruitt’s work in the current issue of Artnews magazine.
“History, racial politics and science fiction collide in Robert Pruitt’s quirky but potent drawings, sculptures and animations,” writes critic Sharon Mizota.
In August, L.A. Times critic Leah Ollman wrote that Pruitt “draws with deliberation and grace, in conscious homage to the prints and drawings of Charles White as well as the cosmic philosophy of Sun Ra. Each of his figures is at once politically charged, physically grounded and fantastic, an amalgam of willful self-determination and culturally conditioned myth.” Read more of that review here.

IMAGE: Robert A. Pruitt, Flux, 2011. Conté, charcoal, gold leaf on hand-dyed Arches paper; 50 x 38 inches.Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Purchase, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University Fund for Acquisitions, 2011.7.1 . Image courtesy of the artist and Koplin Del Rio Gallery, Culver City.

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