Considered to be one of the most important photo-realist painters of our time, Robert Cottingham’s work focuses on Americana. He was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1935. He initially studied art at Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute and began his career in graphic design, which inspired him to focus on the American architecture and signage. He became internationally renowned following his first solo show at the O.K. Harris Gallery in New York in 1971.
Robert Cottingham uses his camera as a sketchbook and states that it is “a great aid in painting because it continually gives him new insights into technique.” His creates work in series such as buildings, signs, words, numbers, letters, railroad imagery, and most recently, typewriters. In 1990, he was elected as an Associate Academician into the National Academy of Design and received full Academician status in 1994. By the age of 63, a retrospective of Robert Cottingham’s work was available for viewing at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. in 1998.
From 1994 to 2012, Cottingham worked on a series of 26 lithographs depicting An American Alphabet. In 2010, Robert Cottingham also had a special exhibit of his “Star Series” paintings at the Boca Raton Art Museum in Florida.