Robert Courtright — Recovered time


Collage, painting

Robert Courtright
Recovered time

Past: February 1 → March 9, 2024

Dutko Gallery is pleased to present, from February 1st to March 9th, 2024, the first retrospective exhibition on the American artist Robert Courtright (1926-2012) in Paris. Having shown his work on numerous occasions at group shows and salons for over thirty years, we will unveil a group of previously unseen works featuring collages and masks, dating from the 1960s to his death in 2012.

Born in South Carolina in 1926, Robert Courtright was a self-taught artist. Close to the artistic approaches of Arte Povera, he developed a singular body of work over more than five decades, which today appears aesthetically contemporary.

The apparent simplicity of Courtright’s works in fact reveals an incomparable world, at once sophisticated, astute and reduced to the essentials: grids made up of well-ordered rectangles of glued paper. These grids, these constructions, are the framework for expression of a color palette ranging from blood red to sunny yellow. Vibrant, saturated or pale, the colors play on the irregular surfaces of the glued paper, meticulously cut and rearranged.

Courtright’s attachment to geometry is nourished by a particular attention to architecture. Ever since a trip to Rome in 1952, surfaces and facades — flat, but with infinite variations and asperities — gleaned from buildings in Italy and the south of France occupied his mind. His first collages, depicting architectural structures, bear witness to this fundamental attraction.

Figurative motifs soon fade and disappear, giving way to simple orthogonal cut-outs. New materials came into play in his constructions, with the introduction of corrugated cardboard, gauze strips and plaster. His decisive meeting with Italian sculptor Bruno Romeda gave rise to an intense artistic complicity. It was through his contact that he was introduced to working with metal.

A whole system of masks developed. Mainly in bronze and papier-mâché, they were directly inspired by Lucas van Leyden’s 17th-century Bocca de la Verità in Rome. Most of them circular in shape, Courtright plays around with a single theme, like his collage work, multiplying variations in texture and color.

With the language of the purest abstraction, exceptional in its rigor and commitment to a clearly defined project, each of Robert Courtright’s works opens up — in Philip Jodidio’s words — "a mental landscape formed by centuries and today can be found again".

07 Paris 7 Zoom in 07 Paris 7 Zoom out

17, Quai Voltaire

75007 Paris

T. 0156245420

Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre
Rue du Bac

Opening hours

Every day except Sunday, 10:30 AM – 1 PM / 2:30 PM – 7 PM
Voir aussi l’autre espace sur l’Ile Saint Louis, 4 rue de Bretonvillier, Paris 4e

Venue schedule

The artist