Robert Lobe

BIO/CV

1945, Detroit, MI

Education
  • 1968

    MFA, Hunter College, New York, NY

  • 1967

    BA, Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH


Selected One Person Exhibitions
  • 2015

    In the Forest of Drawn Metal, Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton Township, NJ
    Field Studies, Mohonk Preserve, New Paltz, NY

  • 2011                       

    Nature in Nature, The Audubon Center at The Boat House and Lullwater in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY

  • 2010

    Robert Lobe, LUX Art Institute, Encinitas, CA

  • 2006                     

    Robert Lobe: Sculpture, Douglas Udell Gallery, Vancouver, BC
    The Landscape Transformed, Montalvo Arts Center, Saratoga, CA

  • 2005                     

    Ne Cede Malis, Stags’ Leap Winery Salon Series, Stags’ Leap, Napa, CA

  • 2004                     

    Four Trees, Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ

  • 2003

    Robert Lobe, Senior & Shopmaker Gallery, New York, NY
    Works on Paper and a Sculpture, Texas Gallery, Houston, TX

  • 2002

    A Clearing In The Woods, The Katonah Museum, Katonah, NY
    Works on Paper and a Sculpture, Texas Gallery, Houston, TX

  • 2001                      

    Robert Lobe, Nina Freudenheim Gallery, Buffalo, NY

  • 2000                     

    Robert Lobe, Senior & Shopmaker Gallery, New York, NY

  • 1997                      

    Robert Lobe, Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ
    Robert Lobe/Sculpture on the Grounds, Southeast Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC

  • 1996                     

    Natural Resources, Greater Reston Arts Center, Reston, VA

  • 1995                      

    The Palm at the End of the Parking Lot, Laumeier Sculpture Park, St. Louis, MO

  • 1992                      

    Robert Lobe, Blum Helman Warehouse, New York, NY
    Land Mindscape, City Gallery of Contemporary Art, Raleigh, NC
    Robert Lobe, Allene Lapidis Gallery, Sante Fe, NM

  • 1991                      

    Robert Lobe, Beth Urdang Fine Art, Boston, MA
    The Artist’s Sculpture – In The Woods of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection, Trenton, NJ

  • 1990

    Robert Lobe, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH

  • 1988                     

    On Nature, Blum Helman Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

  • 1986                     

    Robert Lobe, Willard Gallery, New York, NY

  • 1987                      

    Robert Lobe, Anderson Gallery, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA

  • 1986

    Robert Lobe, Marian Locks Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

  • 1982                      

    Robert Lobe, Texas Gallery, Houston, TX

  • 1981                      

    Robert Lobe: Hammered Aluminum Sculpture, Willard Gallery, New York, NY

  • 1977                      

    Robert Lobe: Recent Sculpture, Dag Hammarskjold Plaza Sculpture Garden, New York, NY

  • 1974                      

    Wood Sculpture, Zabriskie Gallery, New York, NY


Selected Group Exhibitions
  • 2012                      

    Getting From Here to There: Images In and About Transition, AFP Gallery, NY
    Peekskill Project V, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, NY
    Dumbo Arts Festival, Brooklyn, NY

  • 2011                       

    Second Nature: Contemporary Landscapes from the MFA Collection, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX

  • 2009

    Forces of Nature, Danese Gallery, New York, NY
    Suspect Traces, Texas Gallery, Houston, TX

  • 2007

    Winter Park Art in Public Places, inaugural exhibition curated by Joyce Schwartz, City of Winter Park, FL
    Modern Dimensions: Contemporary American Sculpture, Eight Modern, Santa Fe, NM

  • 2006

    Tree Lines, Abington Art Center, Abington, PA)
    El Paseo Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition, City of Palm Desert, CA
    El Bosque, org. by Naomi Siegmann, Federico Silva Museum, San Luis Patosi, Mexico City; Santa Fe, NM; San Francisco, CA; Los Angeles, CA

  • 2005

    Drawn to Cleveland, Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, OH

  • 2004

    179th Annual, National Academy of Design, New York, NY
    Blixen, Robert Lobe with Zac Posen, Fashion Week, Bryant Park, NY

  • 2003

    Outdoor Sculpture Invitational, The Gallery a t Bristol Myers Squibb, New Brunswick, NJ

  • 2002

    Tenth Anniversary Invitational, Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ

  • 2001

    Sensing the Forest, Wave Hill, Bronx, NY

  • 2000

    2000 New Jersey Fine Arts Annual: Into the Millennium, The Newark Museum, Newark, NJ

  • 1999

    As Far As the Eye Can See, Atlanta College of Art, Atlanta, GA
    Six Degrees Of Seduction, Central Fine Arts, NY

  • 1998

    Spring Exhibition, Grounds For Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ
    Escape Velocity, Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, NY
    The Edward R. Broida Collection, Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando, FL
    Inaugural Exhibition, The Fields Sculpture Park, Art/Omi, Ghent, NY
    Off The Wall: Eight Contemporary American Sculptors, Asheville Art Museum, Ashville, NC

  • 1997

    Multiple Identity: Amerikanische Kunst 1975-1995 aus dem Whitney Museum of American Art, Kunstmuseum Bonn

  • 1996                     

    Art at the End of the 20th Century: Selections from the Whitney Museum of American Art, National Gallery, Alexander Soutzos Museum, Athens
    Twentieth Century American Sculpture at the White House: Northeast Region, First Lady’s Garden, The White House, Washington, DC
    Contemporary Sculpture at Chesterwood, 1996, Chesterwood, Stockbridge, MA
    Sculpture New Jersey, The Art Gallery, Ramapo College, Mahwah, NJ

  • 1995                      

    Revisiting Landscape, California Center For The Arts, Escondido, CA
    Inaugural Exhibition, Margaret Woodson Fisher Sculpture Gallery, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, WI
    Inspiration, Trans Hudson Gallery, Jersey City, NJ

  • 1994                     

    Landscape Not Landscape, Gallery Camino Real, Boca Raton, FL
    Prints from Solo Impressions, The College of Wooster Art Museum, Wooster, MA

  • 1993                      

    Dialogue with Nature: Nine Contemporary Sculptors, The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC
    A Private View: Artists’ Photographs, Blum Helman Gallery, New York, NY
    Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, NY
    Grounds For Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ
    Drawings by Sculptors, Nancy Drysdale Gallery, Washington, DC
    Sex Money Politics, Nancy Drysdale Gallery, Washington, DC
    Sculpture/Prints, Bernard Toale Gallery, Boston MA

  • 1992                      

    Issues in Sculpture, 1960-1990, Marion Locks Gallery, Philadelphia PA
    Contemporary Wood Sculpture, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn NY
    Ellen H Johnson Collection: The Living Object, Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Oberlin OH
    DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln MA

  • 1991                      

    Five Artists Reclaim Nature, Neuberger Museum, Purchase NY
    Acquisitions of the 80’s, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
    Sticks and Stones and Artists work with Nature, Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NY

  • 1989                     

    The Experience of Landscape – 3 Decades of Sculpture, Whitney Museum, New York, NY
    Summer Group Show, Blum Helman Gallery, New York, NY
    Works on Paper and Group Show on Eight, Blum Helman Gallery, New York, NY
    4 Americans: Aspects of Current Sculpture, The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn NY
    A Certain Slant of Light: The Contemporary American Landscape, Dayton Art Institute, Dayton OH)
    Ellen Driscoll, Robert Lobe, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Damon Brandt Gallery, New York, NY
    Selections from the Permanent Collection, Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
    The Unconventional Landscape, John Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI
    Terra Incognito: New Directions in Contemporary Art, Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI
    Terra Firma: Land and Landscape in 1989, Wallach Art Museum, Columbia University, New York, NY

  • 1988                     

    Duff, Lobe, Saret: Working in Metal, Blum Helman Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
    Sculptors’ Drawings, Blum Helman Gallery, New York, NY
    In Bloom, The BMW Gallery, New York, NY
    Natural Sources: Contemporary Involvement with the Landscape, Honolulu Academy of Arts, HI
    Sculpture, Katzen Brown Gallery, New York, NY
    Enclosing the Void – Eight Contemporary Sculptors, Whitney Museum of Art at the Equitable Center, New York, NY
    The Lay of the Land, Rathbone Gallery, Russel Sage College, Albany, NY

  • 1987

    A Decade of Emerging Artists: Selections from the Exxon Series, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
    The Allusive Object: Mel Kendrick, Robert Lobe, Judith Shea, Barbara Krakow Gallery, Boston, MA
    The Tree Show, North Hall Gallery, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA
    Sculptures by John Duff, Robert Lobe, Al Taylor, Lorence-Monk Gallery, New York, NY
    Contemporary American Landscape: Reflections of Social Change, New Jersey Center for the Visual Arts, Summit, NJ
    1987 Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

  • 1983                      

    American Sculptors from the Permanent Collection, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
    Directions in Abstraction; The Uses of Nature, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA

  • 1982                      

    Landscape in Sculpture, Freedman Gallery, Albright College, Reading, PA
    C.A.P.S. Sculptors, 1981-82, The Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY

  • 1981                      

    The Americans, The Landscape, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX
    Trois Dimensions-Sept Americains, Galerie Gillespie-Laage-Salomon, Paris
    Selected by Donald Sultan, Texas Gallery, Houston, TX
    Group Exhibition, Willard Gallery, New York, NY

  • 1979                      

    Eight Sculptors, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY

  • 1978                      

    Indoor/Outdoor Sculpture Show, Institute for Art and Urban Resources at P.S.1, Long Island City, New York

  • 1978                      

    Young American Artists: Exxon National Exhibition, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY

  • 1977                      

    Documenta 6, Orangerie, Kassel
    Wood, Nassau County Museum of Art, Rosylan, NY
    The Material Dominant: Some Current Artists and their Media, Plamer Museum of Art, Pennsylvania State University, Pittsburg, PA

  • 1976                      

    A Month of Sundays, Institute for Art and Urban Resources at P.S. 1, Long Island City, NY

  • 1975                      

    Painting, Drawing and Sculpture of the 60s and 70s from the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
    Working Drawings by Sculptors, Kansas State College, Pittsburg, KS
    76 Jefferson Street, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
    Summer Exhibition, Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, NY

  • 1974                      

    The Levi Strauss Collection, San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco, CA
    Summer Exhibition, Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, NY

  • 1973                      

    Biennial Exhibition: Contemporary American Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

  • 1972                      

    Painting and Sculpture Today: 1972, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN

  • 1971                       

    Recent Acquisitions, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

  • 1970                      

    1970 Annual Exhibition: Contemporary American Sculpture, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

  • 1969

    Anti Illusion: Procedures/Materials, Whitney Musem of American Art, New York, NY
    Other Ideas, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI
    Selections from the Eugene and Barbara Schwartz Collection, Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY


Selected Residencies + Grants
  • 2005

    Pollock/Krasner Foundation Grant Recipient

  • 2003

    Pollock/Krasner Foundation Grant Recipient

  • 2001

    Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant Recipient

  • 1994

    Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Grant Recipient

  • 1993

    Elizabeth Foundation Grant Recipient

  • 1992

    Pollock/Krasner Foundation Grant Recipient

  • 1985

    Guggenheim Sculptor-in-Residence, Chesterwood, MA

  • 1984

    National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship

  • 1982

    Creative Artists Public Service Award

  • 1979

    National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship


Public Collections + Commissions
  • Art-in-Architecture Program, US Geological Survey Building, Reston, VA, 1996
    Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, Amherst Station, Buffalo, NY
    Washington State Arts Commission, Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA, 1993
    Laumeier Sculpture Park, St Louis, MO, 1995
    Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
    Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin, OH
    Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
    Castellani Art Museum, Niagara Falls, NY
    The Cleveland Museum of Art, OH
    The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, HI
    Detroit Institute of Arts, MI
    De Cordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA
    Honolulu Academy of Art, HI
    Indianapolis Museum of Art, IN
    Mihama-cho International Outdoor Sculpture Garden, Mihama-cho
    Milwaukee Art Museum, WI
    Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
    Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
    National Gallery, Washington, D.C. (Vogel Collection)
    Newark Museum, Newark, NJ
    Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
    The Menil Collection, Houston, TX


ARTIST STATEMENT

The beauty of nature has long captivated man, but the relationship many have with nature is largely optical. America has no shortage of stunning sunset, snow-capped peaks and intriguing rock formations, all of which inspire snapshots and persistent visual memories.

There is also a more intimate side to nature, which I seek to capture in my sculptures and wall pieces. My work is fundamentally hands-on, created on-site through the use of trees and other forest dwellers via the technique of repousse. Through the use of a gas-powered air compressor, hundreds of yards of hoses and an extensive toolbox, aluminum is hammered, stretched and tightened around natural objects to sculpt the skin of the forest.

This fictitious surface does not mimic or recreate nature, but rather pushes nature’s intrinsic qualities to the surface. There is intimacy, anthropomorphism and mythology in the woods, and by becoming art, there is also machinery.

The resulting works investigate the divide between representation and abstraction, stripping nature’s unique imprints of their color, detail and texture. This abstract quality is further advanced by the explicit cropping of the art and its displacement from its original environment.

While I work primarily in a forest along the Appalachian Trail, I have also worked in the Adirondacks, the Berkshires, Nova Scotia and California. Before I can begin working in a space, I must familiarize myself with it and find an idea grounded in that space. Even an acre of forest can provide a lifetime of inspiration.

My work comes out of classical sculpture, including minimalist art and modernist sculpture, and begins with process, with the idea of hammering aluminum around trees and condensing all that detail on the skin.

The process continues in the studio, where the metal molds are assembled, heat-treated and sometimes anodized. I have been working with aluminum for nearly 40 years, when I felt a desire to incorporate the vastness of nature, both the way it looks and the way it might feel, into art.

Nature abstracted as such is ideally hard to conceive, like a riddle that keeps coming back into your head. There is something that you cannot identify or define, but that you have to touch. It can’t be recreated, and each time you touch or view it, it seems different. And there is something about grasping this in a tactile way that people relate to.