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Robert Kushner

Born 1949, Pasadena, California 

Robert Kushner has never shied away from the lushness and pleasures of the decorative. An adventurous explorer, his inspirations have been drawn from both Eastern and Western cultures, nurtured by extensive travels in the Middle East and Asia. Along the way, Kushner has collected textiles and fabrics, some more modest, some more opulent – including Islamic kilims, French and English brocades, contemporary Indian saris and silk kimonos.

Red Hibiscus VI, the work on view, interlaces Kushner’s love of textiles and fabrics with his devotion to gardening and his close observation of botanical subjects. The antique Japanese fabric and the red hibiscus, a plant native to Asia, are not differentiated as subject and background, but exist in a delicate balance of rich color harmonies and bold, fluid forms. Kushner explains how it all comes together: “My work has always had something to do with putting something on top of something else… the juiciness of the backgrounds became an area of exploration, finding out what the paint wanted to do.”

Kushner’s work has been exhibited and collected extensively by museums in the United States, Europe, and Asia. A partial list would include the Whitney Museum, New York, the Brooklyn Museum, the Tate Gallery, London, the Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy and the Hakusasonso Hashimoto Museum, Kyoto, Japan.