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Catalog Data

Kushner, Robert, 1949-  Search this
Goldin, Amy  Search this
Solomon, Holly  Search this
98 Green St. Loft  Search this
Kitchen, The  Search this
Clocktower Gallery  Search this
Paula Cooper Gallery  Search this
St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Sound recordings
Video recordings
SoHo (New York, N.Y.)
Place of publication, production, or execution:
United States
Physical Description:
4.6 Linear feet
Collection is arranged in 3 series: Series 1: Performances and Artwork, 1967-1988 (Boxes 1-4, FC 6-7; 3.7 linear feet) Series 2: Video Documentation and Exhibition Proposal, 1988-2002 (Box 4; 0.2 linear feet) Series 3: Research Material on Amy Goldin, 1971-2011 (Boxes 4-5; 0.7 linear feet)
Access Note / Rights:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
The papers of the artist Robert Kushner measure 4.6 linear feet and date from 1967 to 2011. The collection documents primarily the early career of Robert Kushner through performance videos and other media artworks, correspondence, notes, lab records, inventories, an exhibition proposal, and subject files regarding critic Amy Goldin.
Robert Kushner papers, 1967-2011. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Additional Forms:
All of the sound recordings and moving image materials in the collection were digitized for preservation and research access in 2018 and are available in the Archives' Washington, D.C. and New York, N.Y. research centers.
Funding for the preservation of the video and sound recordings and motion picture film digitization was provided by Bridget Moore.
Biography Note:
Robert Kushner (1949- ) is a New York, N.Y.-based painter of the Pattern and Decoration movement and an installation artist who began his career as a performance artist.
Kushner was born in Pasadena, California in 1949 and studied visual arts at the University of California at San Diego, La Jolla in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Kushner met and worked closely with the critic Amy Goldin at UCSD, and his work was strongly influenced by her scholarship and thinking about non-Western visual cultures, particularly regarding Islamic decorative art.
Kushner began his work with fashion, costume, and performance in the early 1970s in New York City. He performed and exhibited in the many SOHO art spaces that emerged at that time supporting avant garde and experimental art, such as the 98 Greene Street Loft, the Kitchen, The Clocktower, St. Mark's Church, and Paula Cooper Gallery. The work evolved from the creation of soft sculptures using found materials, to the creation of costumes and fashion "lines" with nontraditional materials, including fresh food, which he presented in the performance genres of pageants and fashion shows, using models to exhibit his works before live audiences. In 1973, art dealer Holly Solomon became a champion of his work. He was a founding member of the Pattern and Decoration movement beginning in the mid-1970s, and his performance, costume, and paintings are strongly associated with that movement.
Kushner has exhibited his work widely, with major exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and the Philadelphia Institute of Contemporary Art. Kushner's work is included in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the National Gallery of Art, among many others. He is represented in New York by the DC Moore Gallery.
Language Note:
English .
Donated 2013 by Robert Kushner.
Location Note:
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Performance artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Pattern and decoration (Art movement)  Search this
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art