Robert Colescott Venus Over Manhattan
Artforum reviews Robert Colescott: Women in the February 2023 print issue.
While the painter’s satires of old masters and chestnuts—most famously, of Emanuel Leutze’s hagiographic Washington Crossing the Delaware, 1851—have been celebrated as acidulous detournements of art history, his images of women (often the fetishized, aspirational type of white woman described above) are among his most challenging and unassimilable.
Robert Colescott (b. 1925, Oakland, CA; d. 2009, Tucson, AZ) was honored as the first African American artist to represent the United States with a solo exhibition at the Venice Biennale in 1997. He was the subject of a traveling retrospective curated by Lowery Stokes Sims and Matthew Weseley which began at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH, in late 2019, accompanied by a comprehensive monograph published by Rizzoli Electa. Colescott’s work is represented internationally in such notable institutions as the Akron Art Museum, Akron, OH; American Research Center in Egypt, Alexandria, VA; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD; Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY; California African American Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX; Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO; Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI; de Young Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA; Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA; High Museum of Art, Atlanta GA; Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; New Museum, New York, NY; Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA; Pinault Collection, Paris, France; Rubell Family Collection, Miami, FL; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA; Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ; University of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; among many more.