Andrew Cornell Robinson

Bio | Statement | Resume | Bibliography


Andrew Cornell Robinson is a contemporary artist who creates sculptural assemblages comprised of ceramic and mixed media juxtaposed with expressive prints and paintings that coalesce in works alluding to myth, ritual and memory. He creates objects and images with a rich attention to materiality coupled with narratives that explore relationships, power inequities and personal histories. His work is often based on memories from his childhood or on historical subject matter that he revises through the artifacts that he creates.

Robinson’s latest project, translates his interests in revisionist histories, mythology and memory through a series of tableaux comprised of paintings, prints and ceramics that explore secular shrines and reliquaries.

He studied ceramic sculpture at the Glasgow School of Art and the Maryland Institute College of Art where he received a BFA. He was awarded an MFA from the School of Visual Arts, where he became interested with the intersection of memory, identity, politics and power.

He has been featured in many publications including Sculpture Magazine, Huffington Post, Hyperallergic, Art Info, et al. He has participated in curatorial and research projects and was a participating artist in Debtfair a project in the 2017 Whitney Biennial. Robinson has also worked on collaborations with designers such as Donna Karan’s Urban Zen project where his work in ceramics led to workshops with artisans in Haiti and the creation of a ceramic studio in Port au Prince. He is currently working with The Powerhouse Workshop and their design team from the Pritzker-prize winning architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron in the design and development of a contemporary industrial fabrication center established to serve the working needs of artists in New York City.

Robinson received an Edward F. Albee fellowship residency. He was a visiting artist in Port Au Prince, Haiti and a resident artist at the Agastya Foundation, in Bangalore, India. He is the recipient of the Urban Glass Merit Scholarship, and several grants for his work in the arts. He is a member of the faculty at Parsons School of Design and Greenwich House Pottery in New York City. His work has been presented extensively throughout the world with the Anna Kustera Gallery, David & Schweitzer Contemporary, Christopher Stout Gallery, Joyce Goldstein Gallery, Baltimore Contemporary Museum of Art (Maryland), Ross Art Museum (Ohio), the Crafts Council (United Kingdom) and many more. He will have a solo exhibition, opening at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, in December 2017.

Robinson lives and works in New York City.

About the Work

Robinson creates ceramic, sculpture and mixed media objects and images that examine memory in order to re-envision both personal and historical stories. His work is often focused on the queer and peculiar within the context of forms that include reliquaries and memento mori artifacts. In carefully researching and creating rich narratives and personae represented by a network of images and objects, Robinson aims to engage the ways we understand historical memory and our place in it.

"Hidden narratives have always been important to me in creating visual art. Narrative structures and devices inform my visual thinking and have led to an underlying system designed to create visual as well as conceptual connections between the artifacts that I create.
Recently I have become interested in coded languages such as Polari, an innuendo fueled English slang language used primarily (although not exclusively) by gay men in the United Kingdom between the 1920's and the 1970's although it's history and etymology can be traced further into the past. It fell out of use after the partial decriminalization of homosexuality in England and Wales in 1967. This 'lost language of gay men' served simultaneously as disguise and identification, when mere existence in the United Kingdom and beyond was punishable with imprisonment and public disgrace. Polari was a form of resistance, a way of queering language, and the expression of a shared culture and identity. Transforming craft materials, artifacts and narratives by speaking through codes and abstraction underlines some of the themes within my work."