About the artist:
Robert Cottingham is of a generation of new 20th century painters, who in finding themselves confronted with the 19th century rival of painting, photography, successfully assimulated photography into their work. This movement in art became known as Photo Realism. It developed quietly during the early 1960's and emerged as the predominant style in the 'Documenta 5' 1972 in Kassel, Germany, an international exhibition that is one of the most important in the world. Malcom Morley, Robert Cottingham, Robert Bechtle, John Clemente Clark, Richard McClean, Ralph Goings and John Kacere are among the luminaries of this international style. The majority of the artists, as one might expect, are American. Cottingham, as most photorealists, uses the photograph as a sketch book of his visual imagery. The 'Documenta 5' in Kassel appropriately call the show of photo-realism 'questioning reality'. This sums up the attitude and questions that have arisen out of Photo Realism. The Photo Realist posture towards photography is usually neutral. However, Cottingham's adds his very personal framed views of the New York City he grew up in and turns his visual reporting to re-code them into a visual language where letters, words and scraps of images penetrate beyond the eyes of the viewer and lodge in the mind and heart. Cottingham is fascinated by the power of various combinations of lettering that appear as advertisements on the streets of our community. These familar and seemingly ordinary symbols epitomize the brash, bold American way of life and free enterprise. Cottingham successfully employes compositional devices that add interest to his urban images. His concerm for formalist abstraction encourages the viewer to focus on the play of light and the passage of time through his work as he records a sympathetic detachment to the phenomon of the 20th century urban landscape.
Robert Cottingham is of a generation of new 20th century painters, who in finding themselves confronted with the 19th century rival of painting, photography, successfully assimulated photography into their work. This movement in art became known as