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Artist Statement

I've been working in the studio for over 40 years, so I've accumulated a vast repository of ideas and techniques that come and go, are added onto and sometimes temporarily forgotten.

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My main interest is in creating work that isn't based on existing visual images. My approach is to invent my own world that uses the influences of many things in our contemporary world. Math related concepts such as prime numbers, geometry, fractals, string theory, and algorithms are useful to me. Science both physical and biological is informative. A layer of earth as seen by a geologist opens possibilities. Webs, nets, knots, patterns, clusters, and islands are sometimes a consideration in my pictorial work. I'm interested in the way that an image on a large scale may be extraordinarily complex but may be transformed on a micro scale into something very simple. Strategies, process, layers, and structure are concerns when I'm constructing a painting. Every painting is an individual that demands new ways of thinking and a specific process in its construction.

Lately I've been using quite a few materials and techniques in my paintings. These vary from acrylic paint to laser cut paper. Drawings I've made and photos I've taken are the basis of the laser cut papers. I'm especially interested in forms that suggest patterns such as silhouettes of trees that may be seen as human nerves or veins. Sometimes knitted string is imbedded in the paintings as a way of creating webs that suggest the weave of a traditional linen canvas or a glitch in a regular grid. Pre-painted papers are collaged into the paintings as are impressions of industrial materials such as safety fencing. I use both additive and subtractive applications of materials so the creation of each work is an elaborate involved process.

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Biography

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Contact

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Education

  • MFA Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI
  • BA California State University at Long Beach, Long Beach, CA

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Solo Exhibits

    2014

    • “Strategy and Structure”, Old College West Gallery, University of Delaware, Newark, DE

    2013

    • “Shadows and Reflections”, Solo Exhibit, Schmidt/Dean Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

    2011

    • “A Modern Wilderness”, Exhibitions Program, Philadelphia International Airport, Leah Douglas, director, Philadelphia, PA
    • “The Elliptical Frontiers”, Curated by Susan Isaacs, Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Wilmington, DE

    2010

  • Schmidt/Dean Gallery, June 2010, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2007

    • Schmidt/Dean Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
    • A Selection of Gouache Paintings, Stroud River Research Center, West Chester, PA

    2006

    • Mystical Geometry: Webs & Structure, Rehoboth Art League, Henlopen Acres, Delaware
    • Toroids & Plaids, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC

    2005

  • Schmidt/Dean Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2004

  • New Gouaches, Schmidt/Dean Gallery, Philadelphia
  • 2002

  • Schmidt/Dean Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2001

  • Horror Vaccui, Delaware State Arts Council, Wilmington, DE
  • 2000

  • Schmidt/Dean Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
  • 1998

  • Schmidt/Dean Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
  • 1997

    • Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE
    • Schmidt/Dean Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

    1992

  • Paul Cava Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
  • 1991

  • Mckinney Gallery, West Chester University, West Chester, PA
  • 1990

  • 55 Mercer St., New York, NY
  • 1989

  • Ann Miller Gallery, Wittenburg University, Springfield, OH
  • 1988

    • Dietrich Galleries, Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA
    • Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, Lancaster, PA
    • Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts, Main Gallery, Wilmington, DE
    • Wilmington Institute Library, Wilmington, DE

    1987

    • Brush Art Gallery, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY
    • Haverford School, Haverford, PA

    1985

  • Delaware State Arts Council, Gallery II, Carvel State Building, Wilmington, DE
  • 1984

  • Delaware State Arts Council, Gallery I, Carvel State Building, Wilmington, DE
  • 1982

  • Barbara Toll Fine Arts, New York, NY
  • 1980

  • Barbara Toll Fine Arts, New York, NY
  • 1978

    • Perkins Student Center Gallery, University of Delaware, Newark, DE
    • Arch Street Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

    1975

    • Greater Reston Arts Center, Reston, VA
    • Connecticut College, New London, CT

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Selected Group Exhibits

    2014

  • Repeating Elements, Schmidt Dean Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2013

  • Inventing Worlds, Leslie K. Price, Lorna Ritz, Robert Straight, Edward Hooper House, Nyack, New York
  • 2012

  • Surface as Signifier, Marlin Gallery, curated by Peg Curtin & Bruce Garrity, Camden County College, Blackwood, NJ
  • Centennial Juried Exhibit, Delaware Art Museum, curated by John B. Ravenal, Wilmington, DE
  • Natural/Constructed Spaces, The Painting Center, curated by Marianne Van Lent & Galen Cheney, New York, NY
  • 2011

  • Works On Paper, Mark, Process, Image, Carroll House Gallery, Keene State College, curated by Rosemarie Bernardi, Keene, New Hampshire
  • 2010

  • Seeing Voices; the visual voice, Stedman Gallery, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Camden New Jersey, curated by Margery Amdur and Bruce Garrity
  • 2008

  • Calculating Art: Mathematics in the Visual Field, Therese Maloney Art Gallery, College of St. Elizabeth, Moorestown, NJ
  • Open Studios Press, New American Paintings 75, an exhibit in Print, juror,Jenelle Porter, curator, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania
  • Mid-Atlantic New Painting 2008,University of Mary Washington, Ridderhof Martin Gallery, Fredricksburg, VA (selections by John B. Ravenal, curator of Modern and contemporary Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA)
  • 2007

  • Garden in Winter, Hopkins House Gallery of Contemporary Art, Haddon Township, NJ
  • The Art Trust, Gallery at Meridian Bank, Back to School, West Chester, PA
  • Constructs, Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Wilmington, DE
  • 2005

  • McKenzie Fine Arts, Inc, Good Vibrations, New York, NY
  • Open Studios Press, New American Paintings, number 57, an exhibit in Print, juror, Jonathan Binstock, Curator of Contemporary Art, Corcoran Museum, Washington DC
  • Delaware Center for Horticulture, Group Exhibit, Wilmington, DE
  • Arlington Arts Center, State of the Arts, Arlington, VA
  • 2004

  • Blue Streak Gallery, Small Works, Wilmington, DE
  • 2003

  • The Painting Center, The Big Abstract Show, New York, NY
  • 2002

  • Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Biomorphix, Wilmington, DE
  • Blue Streak Gallery, Abstraction, Wilmington, DE
  • Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Delaware Art Museum Purchase Awards: A selection from the Biennial, Wilmington, DE
  • 2001

  • The Painting Center, Group Exhibit, New York, New York
  • Open Studio Press, New American Paintings, number 33, an exhibit in print, Beth Venn, juror, Wellesley, MA
  • 1999

  • Schmidt/Dean Gallery, Plant Life, Philadelphia, PA
  • Abington Art Center, Contemplation, Jenkintown, PA
  • 1999

  • Susquehanna Art Museum, American Abstraction/American Realism, The Great Debate, Harrisburg, PA
  • The Noyes Museum, Brushes with Spirituality; Ethereal Paintings, Oceanville, NJ
  • Schmidt/Dean Gallery, Valentine, Philadelphia, PA
  • 1998

  • Howard Scott, M-13 Gallery, Kelly Anne Burns, Robert Straight, New York, NY
  • Delaware Art Museum, Biennial 98, Wilmington, DE
  • 1997

  • Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Members Juried Exhibit 1997-98, Susan Dunne, juror, (Traveling Exhibit), Wilmington, DE
  • Philadelphia Art Alliance, Abstract Strategies, Philadelphia, PA
  • J.J. Brookings Gallery, New Gallery Introductions 97, San Francisco, CA
  • J.J. Brookings Gallery, Richard Erdman-Robert Straight, San Francisco, CA
  • 1996

  • Open Studios Press, New Paintings VIII, Mid Atlantic Competition, an exhibit in print, John Ravanel, juror, Wellesley, MA
  • Blue Streak Gallery, Drawing Invitational, Wilmington, DE
  • 1995

  • Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Return to Beauty, Wilmington, DE
  • 1994

  • Paul Cava Gallery, Contemporary Art, Photography, and Textiles, Philadelphia, PA
  • 1993

  • Paul Cava Gallery, Abstract Painting, Philadelphia, PA
  • 1992

  • Paul Cava Gallery, Works on Paper and Kuba Textiles, Philadelphia, PA
  • 1991

  • Delaware Division of the Arts, Ten Years of Excellence, Individual artist Fellowship Recipients 1980-89, traveling exhibit; Delaware Division of the Arts, Wilmington, DE, Rehobeth Art League, Rehobeth, DE, Delaware State College, Dover, DE
  • 1990

  • Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Art Furniture/Furniture Art, Wilmington, DE
  • 1989

  • School 33, Gallery 1, Familiar Mysteries, Baltimore, MD
  • Delaware Art Museum, Biennial 89, Wilmington, DE
  • Cranbrook Academy of Art, Recent Acquisitions, Bloomfield Hills, MI
  • Samuel Fleisher Art Memorial, Mellon Bank Center, Challenge Finalist Exhibition, Philadelphia, PA
  • 1987

  • Delaware Art Museum, 69th Delaware Exhibition, Wilmington, DE
  • 1986

  • College of William and Mary, Contemporary Works Invitational, Williamsburg, VA
  • 1983

  • Impressions Gallery, Tulip Time, Boston, MA
  • 1982

  • University of Delaware, The 20th University Biennial, Newark, DE
  • 1981

  • Barbara Toll Fine Arts, Group Exhibit, New York, NY
  • Lerner Heller Gallery, The Great American Fan Show, New York, NY
  • Reynold Minor Gallery, The Great American Fan Show, Richmond, VA
  • Randolph-Macon Womans College, The 70th Annual Exhibition-Abstract Art in the 80s, Lynchburg, VA
  • 1980

  • Barbara Toll Fine Arts, Summer Group Show, New York, NY
  • Jeffery Fuller Gallery, Painted Structures, Philadelphia, PA
  • Lowe Art Gallery, Syracuse University, Current/New York, Syracuse, NY
  • 80 Washington Square East Gallery, New York University, Small Works, New York, NY
  • 1978

  • Millersville State College, Larry Holmes, Vera Kaminski, Robert Straight, Millersville, PA
  • 1977

  • Slater Museum of Art, Works By Connecticut Art Faculties, Norwich, CT
  • The Silvermine Guild, 27th Annual New England Exhibit, New Canaan, CT
  • 1976

  • Mystic Art Gallery, Invitational Show, Mystic, CT
  • Hunter Museum, Invitational Drawings, Chattanooga, TN
  • East Tennessee State University, Invitational Drawings, Johnson City, TN
  • Slater Museum of Art, Connecticut Annual, Norwich, CT
  • Russel Sage College, Invitational Drawing Show, Troy, NY
  • Kutztown State College, Works on Paper, Kutztown, PA
  • 1975

  • Ball State University, 21st Annual Drawing Exhibit, Muncie, IN
  • Slater Museum, 32nd Connecticut Artists Show, Norwich, CT
  • State University College at Potsdam, Potsdam National Drawing Exhibit, (purchase award), Potsdam, NY
  • 1975

  • Davidson College, Davidson National Print and Drawing Exhibit, Davidson, NC
  • Aldrich Art Museum, Contemporary Reflections, Ridgefield, CT
  • 1974

  • Greater Hartford Civic and Arts Festival, (purchase award), Hartford, CT
  • 1973

  • Springfield Art Association, Images on Paper- National Drawing Exhibit, Springfield, IL
  • Georgia Association for the Advancement of Art, Images on Paper, National Drawing Exhibit, Atlanta, GA
  • 1972

  • High Museum of Art, Georgia Artists Show, Atlanta, GA
  • 1971

  • Central Michigan University, Invitational Group Exhibition, Mt. Pleasant, MI
  • 1970

  • Detroit Institute of Art, Michigan Artists Show, Detroit, MI
  • Otis Art Institute, Group Exhibit, Los Angeles, CA
  • Indianapolis Museum of Art, Young Printmakers, Indianapolis, IN
  • Ball State University, Ball State National Drawing Exhibit, Muncie, IN

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Grants and Honors

    2008

  • Faculty Enrichment Research Award, Arts and Sciences, University of Delaware
  • 1997

  • Project Development Award, Arts and Sciences, University of Delaware
  • 1987

  • Dean of Arts and Sciences Research Grant, University of Delaware
  • 1987

  • Guest Artist, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY
  • 1985-6

  • Individual Artist Grant, Delaware State Arts Council
  • 1985

  • Guest Artist, Rutgers University, Camden, NJ
  • 1978

  • Guest Artist, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
  • 1973-9

  • Faculty Research and Study Grants, Connecticut College, New London, CT
  • 1976

  • Fellow, Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, NY
  • 1970-1

  • Faculty Awarded Scholarship, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI
  • 1969-0

  • James Scripps Booth Scholarship, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI

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Teaching Positions

    1980-present

  • Professor, University of Delaware, Newark, DE
  • 1973-80

  • Assistant Professor, Connecticut College, New London, CT
  • 1972-73

  • Instructor, Spellman College, Atlanta, GA

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Bibliography

    A

  • Aldrich, Larry, Contemporary Reflections 1974-75, (exhibition catalogue), Ridgefield, CT, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, 1975
  • B

  • Baker, R.C., Picks, Village Voice, June 29, 2005, p.41
  • Batty, Nancy Miller, Robert Straight, New Paintings and Drawings, (exhibition brochure), Wilmington, DE, Delaware Art Museum, 1997
  • Betti, Claudia, and Teel Sale, Drawing: A Contemporary Approach, Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1980
  • Brown, Gerard, Abstract Arts Last Hurrah?, Philadelphia Weekly, Philadelphia, PA, December 18, 1997
  • Butera, Anne Fabbri, Straight Ahead to Little Soho, The Drummer, Philadelphia, PA, October 3-10, 1978
  • Butera, Virginia Fabbri, The Fan as Form and Image in Contemporary Art, Arts, May 1981, p.88
  • Butera, Virginia Fabbri, The Great American Fan Show, (exhibition catalogue), New York, NY, Lerner Heller Gallery, 1981
  • C

  • Cope, Penelope Bass, The Arts, The News Journal, Wilmington, DE, September 24, 1987
  • Cope, Penelope Bass, ART, The New Journal, September 30, 1984
  • Cyphers, Peggy, The New York Review, Arts, March 1991, p.96
  • D

  • Donohue, Victoria, The Arts, Contemplative works examine structure of life, The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 2, 2002
  • Donohue, Victoria, The Arts, The Philadelphia Inquirer, September 26, 1999
  • Donohue, Victoria, The Arts, The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 20, 1997
  • Donohue, Victoria, On Galleries, The Philadelphia Inquirer, November 19, 1988
  • Dorsey, John, Maryland Live The Sun, September 22, 1989
  • E

  • England, Brian, Robert Straight, Arch Street Gallery, Arts Exchange, Philadelphia, PA, November/ December 1978
  • F

  • Fallon, Roberta, Art Sketches, Philadelphia Weekly, December 25, 2002 Vol.31, No.52
  • Fallon, Roberta, Art Greener Pastures, Philadelphia Weekly, December 27th, 20001
  • Fallon, Roberta, Art Lost In Space, Philadelphia Weekly, November 3, 1999
  • Friedman, Jon, Robert Straight, Arts, April 1982, p.5
  • Friedman, Jon, Robert Straight, Arts, October 1980
  • G

  • Greenburg, Clement, and Jane Livingston, Twenty Eighth New England Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture, 1977 (exhibition catalogue) New Canaan, Connecticut, The Silvermine Guild, 1977
  • J

  • Johnson, Ken, Art Listings, The New York Times, June 13, 2003
  • Johnson, Ken, Art Guide, The New York Times, June 26, 1998
  • K

  • King, Elaine, Outside the Marketplace: hidden treasures inside the Wyeth Kingdom, The Penn State Journal of Contemporary Criticism, No.5, University Park, PA, December 1993
  • M

  • Mangravite, Andrew, Visual Art, Straight Not Narrow, Philadelphia Forum, February 6, 1997
  • Matthews, Nancy, Abstract Art in the 80s, (exhibition catalogue), Lynchburg Virginia, Randolph Macon Woman's College, 1981
  • Melrod, George, Openings, Arts and Antiques, February 1997, p.30
  • O

  • Oldach, Anne, Robert Straight, The New Art Examiner, summer, 1986
  • R

  • Rysesky, Helen, Contemplation at Abington, Art Matters, November 1999, p.19
  • S

  • Sachs, Sid, Robert Straight, New Paintings, (exhibition brochure), Schmidt/Dean Gallery, Philadelphia, PA 2005
  • Scala, Joseph, Current / New York (exhibition catalogue), Syracuse, New York, Lowe Art Gallery, Syracuse University, 1980
  • Sims, Patterson, The 20th University of Delaware Biennial Exhibition, (exhibition catalogue), Newark, DE, Old College Gallery, University of Delaware, 1982
  • Solomon, Elke, 2nd National Drawing Exhibit, (exhibition catalogue), Potsdam, NY, State University College at Potsdam, 1975
  • Sozanski, Edward J., Museums-Galleries, Chewier Abstractions The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 10, 2005
  • Sozanski, Edward J., Museums-Galleries, Geometry Comes to Life. The Philadelphia Inquirer, September 29,2000
  • Sozanski, Edward J., Museums-Galleries, The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 8, 1999
  • Sozanski, Edward J., Galleries, The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 23, 1992
  • Strauss, R.B., Wholly Trolley Square, Art Matters, October, 2002
  • W

  • Walentini, Joseph, Gallery Views/Soho, The Big Abstract Show, Abstract Art Online, abartonline.com, June 17, 2003
  • Z

  • Zimmer, William, Art 2, Soho News, February 16, 1982
  • Zimmer, William, New York Pattern and Decoration, Soho News, March 5, 1980

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Public and Corporate Collections

    A

  • American Express
  • Amerada-Hess
  • B

  • Best Products, Richmond, VA
  • Buchanan Ingersoll PC, Wilmington, DE
  • C

  • Capital One
  • Coventry Health Care
  • Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI
  • D

  • Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE
  • Downey Museum of Art, Downey, CA
  • Drinker, Biddle, and Reath, Philadelphia, PA
  • Duane, Morris, and Hecksher, Harrisburg, PA
  • F

  • Fidelity Investments, Boston, MA
  • Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
  • G

  • Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, GA
  • H

  • City of Hartford, Hartford, CT
  • Harrahs, Cherokee, NC
  • I

  • Interim Office Design New York, NY
  • ITT, New York, NY
  • L

  • Lehman Brothers, Kuhn, Loeb, New York, NY
  • Lavin, Coleman, O Neil, Ricci, Finarelli, and Grey, Philadelphia, PA
  • M

  • Metropolitan Life Insurance, Washington, D.C.
  • MetLife Real Estate, Philadelphia, PA
  • P

  • Pew Charitable Trust, Washington, DC
  • Princess Cruises, Diamond Princess
  • Prudential Insurance
  • R

  • Readers Digest, Pleasantville, NY
  • S

  • St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY
  • Southeastern Banking Corporation
  • State University College, Potsdam, NY
  • W

  • Westinghouse Corporation, San Francisco, CA
  • Wilmington Trust Company, Wilmington, DE