Fredericks & Freiser and Andrew Kreps Gallery are pleased to collaborate on an exhibition of Robert Overby’s late paintings. Paintings from the 80’s will include a selection of Overby’s large-scale works that constitute the artist’s last major series.
Beginning in 1969, Robert Overby (1935–1993) produced an eclectic body of work that was rarely exhibited in his lifetime. Despite a diversity of mediums and an equally wide range of subject matter, Overby returned consistently to the human form. His polyurethane stretches and ghost-like latex casts of walls and doors belong to the history of late 60’s and early 70’s experiments in anti-form, process art, and post-minimalism. His 1980’s image paintings are post Pop combinations of figure and abstraction that explore similar issues of surface, decay, and the skin between the real and its incorporeal other.
Overby’s paintings recall both the acuity of renaissance-style painting and that of graphic design. His reliance on the grid anchors his work to the architecture of the canvas, as his saturated color palette recalls the tawdry glamour of Los Angeles, the artists’ home. Simultaneously culled from high-end fashion magazines and pornography, the women of Overby’s quasi-figurative paintings are disembodied from the forms they suggest. Additionally, the shapes that impose themselves upon their bodies and faces further enhance this sense of removal.
In 1996, Robert Overby posthumously received his first one-person exhibition in New York. Since then he was the subject of a retrospective at the UCLA Hammer Museum and his work has been collected by the Art Institute of Chicago; Whitney Museum of American Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, LA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Los Angeles County Museum; and Museum of Modern Art, NY.