Jeffrey Deitch to Host Walter Robinson Survey


Walter Robinson, “Amboy Dukes,” 1979. Acrylic on masonite, 29 1/4 x 24 inches. Courtesy Jeffrey Deitch.

Jeffrey Deitch has announced that it will host a traveling exhibition of Walter Robinson’s work in New York this fall.

Titled “Walter Robinson: Paintings and Other Indulgences,” the landmark exhibition will contain 94 works from the years 1979 through 2014. It will also be the gallery’s first at its new location at 18 Wooster St., which happens to be same address where Deitch Projects, the previous iteration of Deitch’s gallery, was located from its inception in 1996 until 2010, when Deitch left New York to become the director of the MOCA in L.A.

The Swiss Institute has resided there since 2011, though during that stretch, the building was owned by Deitch’s company, Eighteen Wooster Corporation, and Deitch was still listed as the landlord. The Swiss Institute will depart after its lease runs out, in August, at which point Deitch will move back in, this time under the name Jeffrey Deitch.

Curated by Barry Blinderman, “Paintings and Other Indulgences” was first mounted at the University Galleries of Illinois State University in, appropriately, Normal, Illinois. Earlier this year, it moved to the Galleries at Moore College of Art and Design, where it ran from January 23 through March 12.

“When I found out that Barry Blinderman had not been able to find a New York venue for his Walter Robinson exhibition, I volunteered that this would be the ideal project to inaugurate my return to my Wooster Street gallery,” Jeffrey Deitch said in a press release.


Walter Robinson, “Art Colony,” 2012. Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 inches. Courtesy Jeffrey Deitch.

For the majority of his career, Robinson has sampled and reimagined pop imagery in his figurative painting, the subjects of which have varied wildly, from pulpy book covers, to fashion and pornography, to animals, and food. His work has seen a renewed interest over the past several years, as younger generations of artists interested in pop tropes and appropriation have discovered his lingering influence.

“Walter painted Nurse Paintings before Richard Prince and Spin Paintings before Damien Hirst,” said Deitch in the release. “He has long been at the center of the art community but his modest manner and his disdain for aggressive careerism have left his work less recognized than it should be.

Robinson is also a prolific writer and editor. He founded Artnet magazine in 1996 and, before that, was a writer for Art in America for more than 20 years, as well as editor for the short-lived free downtown publication Art-Rite.

“Walter Robinson: Paintings and Other Indulgences” will be up from September 17 through October 22, 2016.

 — Taylor Dafoe (@tddafoe)