The exhibition – curated by Alessandro Rabottini – is organized together with the Centre d’Art Contemporain in Geneva (which has hosted it from February to April 2014), the Bergen Kunsthall in Norway (where it will be presented in September 2014) and Le Consortium in Dijon, France, (where the tour will end in January 2015).
Robert Overby – Works 1969-1987 includes over 50 works from prestigious collections in the United States and Europe and is the biggest show ever dedicated to the artist.
Despite his extremely prolific and diversified production, Robert Overby remains one of the best-kept secrets of Post-War American Art since he rarely exhibited in his lifetime. His works – including sculptures, installations, paintings, prints and collages – offer a mysterious and inspiring exploration of representation, space and identity; it is a poetic investigation of the human condition and its decay, its beauty, and its absurdity.
Through both the layout and the selection of works, the exhibition examines an art practice that was visually exceptionally varied yet extremely coherent and consistent from conceptual and existential points of view. In this sense many works on view can be understood as explorations of concepts like “surface” and “skin” translated as sites of transformation, in the form of the skin of a building, the skin of a painting as a material entity, or the artificial skin of a latex mask that makes it possible to assume multiple sexual identities. Robert Overby’s oeuvre may thus be understood as a critique of “style” as a univocal and stable intention in favor of an idea of art as an ongoing investigation of the human condition captured in a constant state of flux.
The most complete monograph ever realized on the artist’s work accompanies the exhibition.
Published by Mousse Publishing, the catalogue documents more than one hundred and forty works and includes newly commissioned texts by Andrea Bellini (Director of the Centre d’Art Contemporain in Geneva), Martin Clark (Director of the Bergen Kunsthall), Robin Clark (Art Historian and Independent Curator), Alison M. Gingeras (Author and Independent Curator), Terry R. Myers (Art Historian and Head of the Department of Paintings and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago), and Alessandro Rabottini, curator of the exhibition.
The book includes a complete chronology of the artist’s life and work compiled by Marianna Vecellio (Curator at the Castello di Rivoli – Museum of Contemporary Art).
The catalogue received support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
The exhibition and catalogue have been realized with the collaboration and scientific supervision of the Estate of Robert Overby, Los Angeles.
Curated by Alessandro Rabottini