Modern Design /07 October 2008


Robert Cottingham

Santa Fe
USA, 1988
woodcut on paper
30½ h × 30½ w in (77 × 77 cm)

This work is number twenty from the edition of forty-eight. Signed, titled, dated and numbered to lower margin: [Cottingham 88 Sante Fe 20/48].

estimate: $1,500–2,000
result: $1,320

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Robert Cottingham b. 1935

Born in 1935, Robert Cottingham is a painter and printmaker whose body of work finds inspiration in the urban American landscape. After graduation from the Pratt Institute in 1963, he began his advertising career in Los Angeles. He ultimately left the field to pursue painting, but the influence of the ad world can be seen in the execution of his work.

Although regarded as a Photorealist, Cottingham maintains that he is a realist painter working in a long tradition of Americana painters. His subjects range from mid-20th century commercial signage and architectural details to railroad boxcars and storefront marquees. An interest in typography is seen through the isolation of words and letter forms cropped into photo-realistic, dynamic compositions.

Cottingham’s work is among many of the most important collections both in the United States and Europe including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Tate Gallery in London, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago. His work has been exhibited in the Centre national d’art contemporain in Paris, Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. He lives and works in Connecticut.

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