press release

Perspectives 154: Robert Pruitt is the first solo museum exhibition for Robert Pruitt, a Houston-based artist who takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the issues of race and identity in today’s society. His work, which ranges from drawings on paper to sculpture, video, and installations, draws upon the vernacular of black culture to examine the historical and contemporary struggles of black Americans. Perspectives 154: Robert Pruitt will bring together several multimedia works created by Pruitt over the last three years, as well as new work that will debut in the Contemporary Arts Museum’s presentation. Pruitt integrates disparate ideas, events, and objects into his work, including elements of scholarly social critique and the “ephemeral blackness” of music, religion, dance, and dress. His sculpture and installations have included such objects as a Duchampian bicycle wheel decked out in “low rider” style, African masks and hip-hop accoutrements, and guns and bubble gum. However, beyond the scathing social and political critique is Pruitt’s unbridled celebration of the power and resilience of blackness.

Robert Pruitt received his BFA from Texas Southern University and his MFA from The University of Texas at Austin. His work has been seen in solo exhibitions at the Clementine Gallery, New York (2004), the Galveston Arts Center (2003), and Project Row Houses in Houston (2003). It was also included in the 2006 Whitney Biennial in New York. The artist lives and works in Houston.

The exhibition is organized by Contemporary Arts Museum Houston associate curator Valerie Cassel Oliver, and will be accompanied by a Perspectives-format catalogue with an essay by Cassel Oliver, reproductions of exhibited work, and documentation on the artist’s career.

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Perspectives 154:
Robert A. Pruitt