Robert Huot Paintings – Opening Exhibition

Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute – October 12, 2019 through January 19, 2020 – Curator Mary Murray

Robert Huot – Shear, 1963 acrylic on canvas, 96 x 60 in.

(As published by Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute on their website)

I started my art career as a painter. I’ve done many things along the way, but I’ve continued to do things that might be called painting and always have thought of myself as a painter.

Robert Huot

The Museum of Art proudly presents Robert Huot Paintings, a retrospective look at an artist’s core motivation for 60 years, creating conceptually interesting and skillfully crafted paintings.

Robert Huot (born 1935) has been an artist and politically engaged citizen for much of his life. By his early 30s, he had established himself as an active player in the New York City art scene. He was a serious painter of large, minimalist canvases that were critically well-received. He exhibited regularly at commercial galleries in New York and in Europe; collaborated with his peers, including fellow artist Robert Morris and choreographer Twyla Tharp, his first wife; and was invited to participate in notable exhibitions at the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. By all art world standards, Robert Huot was a success.

By the end of the tumultuous 1960s, Huot grew increasingly disenchanted with the art world, its commercialization, and its seeming obliviousness to volatile issues of the day, particularly the Vietnam War. As a member of the Art Workers Coalition, he actively protested the war and other injustices, but Huot describes his art and life at this moment as a disappearing act: his paintings became conceptual and ephemeral, and he moved from New York to an upstate farm in rural Chenango County. Huot stopped painting traditional, rectangular canvases but he remained a creative force, making films; producing an impressive body of work known as the Diary Paintings; performing with his band, the Chameleons; and collaborating with artist Carol Kinne, his wife, on a variety of artistic and political projects; all the while commuting weekly to teach at Hunter College.

Flower Arrangement inspired by Huot painting.
“Art in Bloom” event at Munson inspired by Huot painting.

In the 1990s, Huot entered another remarkably fruitful period of painting, working as prolifically as he had 30 years earlier. With the equilateral triangle as his matrix, Huot painted expressively about themes that have engaged him his entire life: art history, contemporary politics, and, most critically, the nature of painting itself.

Robert Huot’s story is one of living life on one’s own terms. This exhibition examines the significant body of work that he perceived to be at the heart of his métier, paintings, so that an oeuvre that has been largely unknown can now contribute to and broaden the collective understanding of post-World War II art in the United States.

Sponsored by Golden Artist Colors, Inc

Opening Reception in Celebration of Robert Huot Paintings
Saturday, October 12, 2019, 4 pm – 6 pm
Location: Edward W. Root Sculpture Court

Meet the Artist Gallery Talk: Robert Huot
Sunday, November 3, 2019, 2 pm
Reception follows
Free and open to the public

Robert Huot will discuss his 60-year career from the 1960s minimalist style of his youth to the Diary Paintings series to the expressive equilateral triangle compositions of more recent times.

Screening: Robert Huot Films
Friday, November 22, 2019, 12 pm
Location: Sinnott Family – Bank of Utica Auditorium
Presented by Scott MacDonald
Director, Cinema and Media Studies and Professor of Art History, Hamilton College
Free and open to the public

(M)other Natures: Contemporary Art from the Collection

 Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute – July 23, 2013 through January 5, 2014 – Curator Mary Murray

Robert Huot - Still from"Snow"

The museum of the Art will showcase more than two dozen works of art that address the theme of nature in the exhibition (M)other Natures, on view in the Otto Meyer Galleries in the Fountain Elms, through January 5. All of the material on the view is from the Museum’s remarkable holdings of contemporary art. The show examines phenomena including wildfires, animal and plant life, and humankind’s interaction with nature. There are also works of art in which nature is used symbolically to address human concerns.

(M)other Natures features works of art in all media, from traditional drawing and watercolor to painting, sculpture, and video. Some pieces, including Robert Huot’s film, Snow, 1971, are recent acquisitions that will be presented to the public for the first time.

Other artists represented in the exhibition include Dale Chihuly, Mary Lucier, Ann Messner, Dorene Quinn, and Theodoros Stamos.