"I still think the social function of art is that kind of negative aesthetic. Otherwise there’s no social function for it."
About the artist
Robert Mangold was born in North Tonawanda, New York in 1937. With classical restraint, Mangold translates the most basic of formal elements—shape, line, and color—into paintings, prints, and drawings whose simplicity of form expresses complex ideas. He renders the surface of each canvas with subtle color modulations and sinewy, handdrawn graphite lines. While his focus on formal considerations may seem paramount, he also delights in thwarting those considerations—setting up problems for the viewer. Over the course of years and in multiple series of shaped canvases that explore variations on rings, columns, trapezoids, arches, and crosses, he has also provoked viewers to consider the idea of paintings without centers. In addition to works on paper, and canvases whose physicality relates to the scale of the human body, Mangold has also worked in stained glass for architectural projects. Robert Mangold received a BFA and MFA from Yale University (1963). He has been inducted into the National Academy (2005) and American Academy of Arts and Letters (2001), and has received many awards including the Jawlensky-Preis der Stadt Wiesbaden Award (1998); the Skowhegan Medal for Painting (1993); and a National Endowment for the Arts Grant (1967). His work has appeared in major exhibitions at Documenta (1972, 1977, 1982); the Whitney Biennial (1979, 1983, 1985, 2004); and the Venice Biennale (1993). His works are in the public collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; J. Paul Getty Trust; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and Whitney Museum of American Art, among many others. Robert Mangold lives and works in Washingtonville, New York.