Drawings from the 1960s
May 23–August 5, 2023
Brian Gross Fine Art is pleased to present Robert Hudson: Drawings from the 1960s, an online exhibition from May 23 to August 5, 2023. Culled from the artist’s personal collection, the works in the exhibition highlight Hudson’s development as an artist while attending the San Francisco Art Institute as a graduate student. Variously full of sweeping passages of black ink, tinted gesso, and acrylic accents, the drawings reveal the artist’s explorations of gestural abstraction and figuration, and illuminate the emergence of a visual vocabulary that would later inform his first sculptures.
These drawings, dating from 1961–1963, display the range of Robert Hudson’s exploration in this two-dimensional medium. In four of the works, gesturally applied layers of black India ink were built up to form dense, rich surfaces, onto which Hudson in some cases added tinted gesso. In other drawings, human figures emerge from or disappear into amorphic backgrounds. In the largest group, elongated abstract forms that in some cases refer to sculptural images are described in pen lines are set against backdrops ranging from inky voids to dimensionally rendered pictorial space.
Featured is a drawing in which Hudson drew over the front of the printed announcement for his 1961 Batman Gallery exhibition. Gathered together for the first time, this group of drawings shed light on a crucial formative period in the career of this important American sculptor.
Robert Hudson grew up in Richland, Washington, and received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1963. Recognized for his talent while still a graduate student, Hudson, along with his contemporaries, Robert Arneson, Joan Brown, Roy De Forest, William T. Wiley, and others, was included in Peter Selz’ historic exhibition, Funk, at the Berkeley Art Museum in 1967. He has taught at art schools and universities, including the San Francisco Art Institute, University of California at Berkeley, University of California at Davis, and California College of Arts and Crafts. In 1985, Hudson was the subject of a mid-career retrospective at SFMOMA, which traveled to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; The Art Museum at Florida International University, Miami, FL; and the Laguna Beach Museum of Art, Laguna Beach, CA.
Hudson’s polychrome steel sculptures, ceramic sculptures, paintings, and drawings are in major museums and collections throughout the United States and Europe, including The Museum of Modern Art, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; SFMOMA; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Yale University Art Gallery; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Art Institute of Chicago; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Honolulu Museum of Art; Berkeley Art Museum, CA; Oakland Museum of California; di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, Napa, CA; San Jose Museum of Art, CA; Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA; Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University; Anderson Collection at Stanford University; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA; Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, University of California, Davis; and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, among others.
In 2014, Robert Hudson was awarded the prestigious Lee Krasner Award in recognition of his lifetime of artistic achievement. This is his fourth exhibition with Brian Gross Fine Art.