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Robert Arneson Homage to Philip Guston, 1913-1980, 1980
Robert Arneson Ronny Portable, 1986
Robert Arneson Saga of Jackson Pollock-Bookends, 1988
Robert Arneson Six Pack 16 Oz., 1964
Robert Arneson Potted Flower Heads, 1991
Robert Arneson Oh Danny Boy, 1983
Robert Arneson Molded Salad, 1970
Robert Arneson Scale, 1965
Robert Arneson Gold Lustred Rose, 1966
Robert Arneson China Trophy, 1964
Robert Arneson Smite-Poorly Restored, 1968
Robert Arneson Eye Screw, 1971
Robert Arneson Brick with Hand of, 1991
Robert Arneson Colonel Nuke, 1984
Robert Arneson Brick Vase, 1974
Robert Arneson Toastmaster, 1965
Robert Arneson Study of Man with Board on Head, 1990
Robert Arneson Flower Pot Inside, 1967
Robert Arneson Plate with Blue Pool, 1978
Robert Arneson Stream-A-Head Plate, 1976
Robert Arneson Finger Plate, 1965
Robert Arneson Native to New South Wales Teapot, 1969
Robert Arneson Sinking Brick, 1976
Robert Arneson Sung Edition, 1970
Robert Arneson Rat Krater #3, 1981
Robert Arneson Untitled (Frame #3), 1968
Robert Arneson Untitled (coffee cup), 1974
Robert Arneson Frame, 1968
Carlos Alfonzo Alice House, 1967
Robert Arneson Boots of JP, 1987
Robert Arneson Show Announcement
Robert Arneson Show Announcement (continued)

Press Release

George Adams Gallery is pleased to present Arneson and the Object, an exhibition of sculptures and drawings by Robert Arneson organized by the Palmer Museum of Art at Pennsylvania State University.  Featuring 20 sculptures in ceramic and bronze and 10 drawings, the exhibition explores Arneson's use of everyday objects in his work dating from 1964 to 1992.   A 48-page color catalogue accompanies the exhibition.

Arneson and the Object is the first exhibition to examine the artist's embrace of tools, appliances, hardware, weapons, and other icons from everyday life and popular culture. As Leo Mazow, curator of the exhibition writes in the catalogue essay, "This more thematically focused investigation explores Arneson's long engagement with Funk, as well as its considerable legacy; yet it also demonstrates that the artist's was a progenitor of (and posed a significant challenge to) Pop art, and that his "objects" eerily foreshadow the subjectively imbued and politically charged themes that dominate so much contemporary art." From toasters to bricks, coffee cups, frames, teapots, telephones, and televisions, among other mass-produced wares, Arneson made use of ordinary objects as a means to critique issues of high and low art as well as to bridge the seemingly insurmountable divide between fine art and craft.  

The earliest works in the exhibition Six Pack, 16 0z. and China Trophy, both from 1964, reflect a similarity with Pop Art objects of Oldenberg, Johns, and Warhol. However in contrast to the cool aesthetic of Pop, the roughly sculpted ceramic facsimiles--a case of bottles and a trophy with the word CHINA scratched into the front---are formally and iconographically expressionistic.  Similarly, Toastmaster (1964), a drawing study for the ceramic sculpture Toaster (1965) depicts several views of an ordinary toaster with the addition of a hand emerging from the bread slot--turning a simple appliance into a politically charged work.

Elevating the mundane to high art while simultaneously paying homage to two artists he long admired, Arneson used the image of shoes in Homage to Philip Guston (1981)--a pair of oversized ceramic shoes glazed in bubble-gum pink --and Boot's of JP(1987) a collage and mixed drawing depicting Pollock's work boots overlain with a cutout reproduction of one of his paintings.

The exhibition also features Flower Pot Inside (1967), a life-size pot with multi-colored flowers growing on the inside, Eye Screw (1971) a large-scale hanging device glazed in dappled pastels, and Sung Edition (1971) a series of 10 celadon bricks with Arneson's name stamped into the face. Other works include Ronny Portable (1986) with Ronald Reagan's face framed within a television set and Head Lamp (1992) a bronze self-portrait bust of the artist outfitted to work as a lamp.  

Exhibition Checklist
(Clockwise from entrance)

Main Gallery

Brick with Hand of,1991, modeled 1972
9 1/2 x 8 1/2 x 4 inches
RAs 143

Study of Man with Board on Head, 1990
conte, oil stick on paper
31 3/4 x 16 inches
RAd 37

Oh Danny Boy, 1983
glazed ceramic and mixed media
13 x 15 1/2 x 13 1/2 inches
Private Collection
RAs 141

Finger Plate, 1965
glazed stoneware
14 inches diameter x 2 3/4 inches high
RAs 115

Scale, 1965
glazed ceramic
14 x 13 x 4 1/2 inches
Private Collection
RAs 139

Toastmaster, 1965
ink on paper
18 1/2 x 24 1/2 inches
Private Collection
RAd 59

Six Pack 16 Oz., 1964
10 x 9 1/2 x 7 inches
Private Collection
RAs 142

Untitled (coffee cup), 1974
watercolor on paper
11 x 15 inches
Private Collection
RAd 58

Sinking Brick, 1976
watercolor on paper
12 x 18 inches
Private Collection
RAd 62

Molded Salad, 1970
glazed ceramic
7 x 15 x 3 inches
RAs 136

Eye Screw, 1971
painted ceramic
11 x 8 1/2 x 1/2 inches
Private Collection
RAs 140

Homage to Philip Guston, 1913-1980, 1980
glazed ceramic
11 1/2 x 16 x 38 inches (left)
13 1/2 x 18 x 42 1/2 inches (right)
RAs 96

Untitled (Frame #3), 1968
acrylic on canvas
26 x 32 inches
Private Collection
RAp 10

Ronny Portable, 1986
bronze, nickel plate (antenna)
35 1/2 x 21 1/2 x 14 inches
RAs 132

Frame, 1968
watercolor on paper
19 1/2 x 23 inches
RAd 50

Alice House, 1967
watercolor on paper
19 x 24 7/8 inches
RAd 51

Smite - Poorly Restored, 1968
glazed ceramic
Each leter: 15 1/2 x 19 1/2 x 6 1/4 inches
RAs 148

Boots of JP, 1987
mixed media on paper
32 x 48 inches
RAd 61

Saga of Jackson Pollock - Bookends, 1988
10 x 9 x 5 inches each
RAs 17

Side Gallery

Stream-A-Head Plate,1976
glazed ceramic
19 1/4 inches diameter
RAs 135

Plate With Blue Pool, 1978
glazed ceramic
18 inches diameter
RAs 152

Sung Edition, 1970
10 bricks at 9 x 4 1/2 x 2 3/4 inches each
RAs 145

Flower Pot Inside, 1967
glazed ceramic
9 inches x 12 inches diameter
Private Collection
RAs 126

Potted Flower Heads, 1991
38 x 23 1/2 x 12 inches
RAs 147

Colonel Nuke's Lecture, 1984
acrylic, oilstick, collage on paper
53 x 65 inches
RAd 06

Gold Lustred Rose, 1966
glazed ceramic
29 x 24 x 11 inches
RAs 65

Rat Krater #3, 1981
glazed ceramic
17 x 12 1/4 x 11 1/4 inches
RAs 144

China Trophy, 1964
glazed ceramic
18 x 7 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches
RAs 138