Robb Putnam’s first solo exhibition, Orphans, at the Rena Bransten Gallery is an exploration into the province of detritus dogs. With his sculpture, Putnam transforms previously discarded materials into castoff creatures who explore the dark spaces where emotions intersect. Old blankets, ripped shirts, fake fur, shredded rags, loose threads and plastic bags come together to become large-scale canine portrait heads whose individual personalities are expressed through a nuance of expression and texture. These oversized forms exist as misfits and reference a variety of sources: whimsical children’s-book characters, abandoned stuffed toys, wounded stray dogs, and imaginary friends. In addition to the sculptures, drawings of the dogs as disjointed animals within fevered dreams continue the associations of innocence and play as well as their physical distortions. In either dimension, Putnam evokes our empathy and our compassion for these beings.
Putnam received his BFA from the Maryland Institute, College of Art in Baltimore, MA and an MFA from Mills College in Oakland, CA. His recent one-person exhibition Strays was held at the Walter Maciel Gallery in Los Angeles, CA. His work will be included in an upcoming exhibition at the Bellevue Arts Museum in Bellevue, Washington in 2011. He currently lives and works in Oakland.
Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Fridays 10:30 to 5:30 and Saturdays 11:00 to 5:00. Please note that the gallery will be closed from August 22 through September 6, 2010. For more information, please visit our web site, www.renabranstengallery.com.