Rob Pruitt /   Rob Robert Pruitt

United States 1964


Rob Pruitt
Rob Robert Pruitt
United States
December 26, 2014

The highly subversive artistic practice of Rob Pruitt is embedded in the need to deploy shock tactics in order to reassemble the very notion of artwork is in the contemporary moment. By appropriating sarcasm, first of all, the artist is eager to express what are the means or requirements of becoming the artist in regards to dictating of the art market. Apparently driven by the DIY sensibility, Pruitt often produces works which are banal and almost dilettante, yet the message he inscribes in them does not leave the observer restless. His aesthetic forebears like Andy Warhol or Jeff posited themselves as fabricators of culture rather than consumers, while Pruitt takes the whole agenda to the next level by ironically accentuating and questioning his own position.

The artist’s works were on a view in gavin brown gallery from new York ”
Rob Pruitt – Esprit de Corps – Bench, Touche, 2006

Bad Boy Doing Art

Rob Robert Pruitt was born in 1964 in Washington, DC. He grew up in Rockville and attended Corcoran College of Art and Design, where he became friend with the admissions director, Tim Gunn. Later, Pruitt transferred to Parsons School of Design when Gunn began teaching there. During college, Pruitt lived at the Chelsea Hotel and says he focused his energy on partying rather than studying.

Peculiar approach to humor

On his home site you can find his email news and policy and contact the artist
Rob Pruitt – Dinosaur dropping, 2012

Starting Off with Collaborative Work

The artist started kicking the art scene in the late 80’s as half of the art team Pruitt-Early, which became celebrated for the work that took art about gender politics into a radical new pop arena. At the height of their fame, Pruitt-Early presented The Red Black Green Red White and Blue Project at Leo Castelli Gallery, addressing the marketing of African-American pop culture in the public. The show was disastrously received due to severe criticism on the lack of political correctness. Soon afterward, Pruitt-Early split up and Pruitt disappeared from the art world for several years.

Rob Pruitt is known for his eccentric practice

His use of references from celebrity world is part of his enterprise in terms of motifs
Rob Pruitt – Cocaine Boufet, 1998

The Controversial Approach to Art

Perhaps one of the first solo works after the split with Early was the one titled Cocaine Buffet, done in 1998. It was an installation made out of the 16-foot mirror with a line of real cocaine running down the center and the visitors were welcome to enjoy it. Since then, Pruitt has focused his practice on performative actions aimed at breaking the conventions of decent behavior, so once gave a book signing nude or displayed his father’s ashes in a number of exhibitions. Working primarily in painting, installation, and sculpture, Pruitt uses any means to express his ideas.

The works are interwoven with pop references

In privacy of his home the artist settled weird furniture and stuffed animals much like his works
Rob Pruitt – Studio Love Seat, 2014

101 Art Ideas You Can Do Yourself

In 1999 Pruitt held his first solo show under this hilarious title. The results of applying humor on language-based conceptual art were rather interesting. As a matter of fact, he exhibited almost recipe-style book instructions for making and decorating such as Paint secret paintings on walls with glow in the dark paint and Draw yourself into your favorite comic strip. Others were suggestions on how to interact with the world in a different way, like Sit on the toilet backwards and Go on an animal photo safari in a city: dogs, cats, pigeons, rats, and squirrels.

Pandas are his main feature

The news of his enterprise in new york gavin brown gallery was good in terms of reception
Rob Pruitt – Panda painting, 2012

About Pandas in the Work of Rob Pruitt

In 2001 Pruitt showed the first of the glittery panda paintings that would become his trademark and from that point onwards he made many versions of the same using different techniques and stylizations. The decision to use the panda imagery was adopted as a marketing strategy to ingratiate himself with the public on account of a generally unfavorable opinion. Nevertheless, Pruitt remained true to these animals and even collaborated with Jimmy Choo in 2012 to create a line of shoes and handbags featuring panda bears and animal prints.

Pruitt’s installations are always inviting for the public

You can view this ” policy in privacy of your home and subscribe for his new page
Rob Pruitt – Peacock Hill, 2002

Participative Actions And Public Works

The Flea Market happening Pruitt realized in 1999. He invited other artists and friends to set up tables and sell anything they wanted, be it their own artwork or junk from their apartment. Therefore, the exhibition space became a place to socialize with the artists and articulated the subjects of cohabitation in art community and market. In 2009 Guggenheim approached him to reimagine their annual fund-raising event and instead of the usual gala, Pruitt conceived a performance piece: like Oscars-style award show and tackled the whole idea od stardom. In 2011 Pruitt created The Andy Monument for the Public Art Fund. It is a ten-foot-tall, chrome-finished statue of Andy Warhol which is positioned outside the building that housed Warhol’s Factory in the 1970s and early 1980s.

An ode to icon of Pop Art

In New York city the artist met his friend Gavin and they had an great art enterprise
Rob Pruitt – Andy monument, 2011

The Rebelling Art Practice of Rob Pruitt

In the last two decades, Pruitt has earned the desired attention with his almost anarchic approach to arts. During the course of time, he started exhibiting regularly in galleries, museums and at art fairs. Interestingly, in 2013 his work set a record price at a Christie’s charity auction and was sold for the immense sum. The part of his eccentric behavior is a delight for throwing parties like he did with MOCA’s annual gala which was a weed-themed bacchanalia. Although it might seem odd and unserious, the decadent and humorous art of Rob Pruitt is always well thought and based on the critical reflection of contemporaneity and all of its recurrences.

Rob Pruitt lives and works in New York City.

Featured image: Rob Pruitt photographed at his studio – photo credit by Katherine McMahon
All images used are courtesy of the artist

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group 
2016The Obama paintings Gavin Brown's enterprise, 291 Grand Street, New York Solo
2016Hong Kong PandaMassimo de Carlo, Hong Kong, ChinaSolo
2016 Flea MarketLAND, Los Angeles, CASolo
2015Rob PruittMuseum of Contemporary Art Detroit, DetroitSolo
2015Rob PruittThe Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwhich, CTSolo
2015Rob Pruitt’s Flea MarketAplusA Gallery, Venice, Italy Solo
2014Rob Pruitt - Multiple PersonalitiesGavin Brown's Enterprise, New York City, NYSolo
2014Sed Tantum Dic Verbo (Just Say The Word)Blain, Southern, BerlinGroup
2014GirlGalerie Emmanuel Perrotin - Paris, ParisGroup
2014Das stille Leben des Sammlers KempinskiExile, BerlinGroup
2014Home sculptureMassimo De Carlo London, LondonGroup
2014Three Blind MiceMDD - Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, DeurleGroup
2013Rob Pruitt — The Suicide PaintingsMassimo De Carlo London, LondonSolo
2013Rob PruittAspen Art Museum, Aspen, COSolo
2013Empire State. New York Art Now Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, ParisGroup
2013The Cat ShowWhite Columns, New York City, NYGroup
2013Empire StatePalazzo delle Esposizioni, RomeGroup
2013AnalogitalUtah Museum of Contemporary Art, Salt Lake City, UTGroup
2013The Magic BulletTORRI, ParisGroup
2012Rob Pruitt's Autograph CollectionLuxembourg & Dayan London, LondonSolo
2012Rob Pruitt: The Andy MonumentContemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TXSolo
2012Rob Pruitt - Faces: People And PandasMassimo De Carlo Milan, MilanSolo
2012Rob Pruitt - History Of The WorldKunstverein Freiburg, FreiburgSolo
2012FunnyFLAG Art Foundation, New York City, NYGroup
2012Holy Crap!The Fireplace Project, East Hampton, NYGroup
2012Arthur RainbowAir de Paris, ParisGroup
2012Friends & FamilyKenny Schachter ROVE Projects LLP, LondonGroup
2012Motion and EmotionBowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, MEGroup
201228 Days: Reimagining Black History MonthGeorgia Scherman Projects, Toronto, ONGroup
201228 Days: Reimagining Black History MonthJustina M Barnicke Gallery, University of Toronto, ONGroup
2011Rob PruittDallas Contemporary, Dallas, TXSolo
2011Rob PruittAir de Paris, ParisSolo
2011American exuberanceRubell Family Collection, Miami, FLGroup
2011Pruitt & Early: Text imageSouthfirst, New York City, NYGroup
2011GrisailleLuxembourg & Dayan, New York City, NYGroup
2011Remember To Remember - Art & RapyContemporary Art Gallery, MonacoGroup
2011NUMBER FIVE: Cities of Gold and Mirrors. Works from the JULIA STOSCHEK COLLECTIONJulia Stoschek Collection, DusseldorfGroup
2011LOL: A Decade of Antic ArtContemporary Museum, Baltimore, Baltimore, MDGroup
2011Richard Artschwager Curated By Rob PruittMassimo De Carlo London, LondonGroup
2011Bed BugsGavin Brown's Enterprise, New York City, NYGroup
2010Pattern and DegradationMaccarone Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
2010Holy CrapNew Jerseyy, BaselSolo
2010Pop Touched MeGavin Brown's Enterprise, New York City, NYSolo
2010iPaintingsGalleria Franco Noero, TurinSolo
2010Salad DaysThe Journal Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2010The Concrete ShowGalleria Franco Noero, TurinGroup
2010Cumulus StudiosBlum & Poe, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2010Multiple Pleasure: Functional Objects in Contemporary ArtTanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2010Pruitt & Early: Pop Life: Art in a Material WorldNational Gallery of Canada - Musée des beaux-arts du Canada, Ottawa, ONGroup
2010Linguaggi e Sperimentazioni. Giovani artisti in una collezione contemporaneaMART- Museo d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, RoveretoGroup
2010Julia Stoschek Collection - I want to see how you seeDeichtorhallen Hamburg, HamburgGroup
2010Pruitt & Early: Pop Life - Warhol, Haring, Koons, Hirst,Hamburger Kunsthalle, HamburgGroup
2010Denim80WSE, Washington, DCGroup
2009Rob PruittGalleria Franco Noero, TurinSolo
2009Rob Pruitt - Look What I've DoneMassimo De Carlo London, LondonSolo
2009Pruitt & Early: Pop Life: Art in a Material WorldTate Modern, LondonGroup
2009onnecting the Dots… The Warhol Legacy: Tom Friedman, Ellen Gallagher, Vik Muniz, Rob PruittUniversity Museum of Contemporary Art - UMass Amherst, Amherst, MAGroup
2009The living and the deadGavin Brown's Enterprise, New York City, NYGroup
2009Whaddaya Wanna Be, a Flower?Alexander and Bonin, New York City, NYGroup
2009Mapping the Studio: Artists from the Francois Pinault Collection Palazzo Grassi - Francois Pinault Foundation, VeniceGroup
2008Rob PruittGavin Brown's Enterprise, New York City, NYSolo
2008Rob Pruitt - iPhone Photos MemphisPower House Memphis, Memphis, TNSolo
2008Musical PaintingsAurel Scheibler, BerlinGroup
2008Number Two: FragileJulia Stoschek Collection, DusseldorfGroup
2008Pretty UglyGavin Brown's Enterprise, New York City, NYGroup
2008Who's Afraid of Jasper Johns?Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2008SunshineRental Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2007Air de Paris - Art & RapyContemporary Art Gallery, MonacoGroup
2007Colour First Galerie van Gelder, Amsterdam Group
2007She Was Born To Be My UnicornSmith-Stewart, New York City, NYGroup
2006Rob PruittAir de Paris, ParisSolo
2006Rob PruittGavin Brown's Enterprise, New York City, NYSolo
2006The Gold StandardMoMA PS1, New York City, NYGroup
2006Interstellar Low WaysHyde Park Art Center, Chicago, ILGroup
2006The Kate ShowFoam Fotografiemuseum, AmsterdamGroup
2006The Inside Game - a selection from PDX art collectionsPortland Art Center, Portland, ORGroup
2006CELEBRITYSixtyseven, New York City, NYGroup
2006SparkleGallery Side2, TokyoGroup
2005Strictement confidentiel. A partir de la collection de Marc et Josée GensollenCentre international d´art et du paysage de l´île de Vassivière, Ile de VassivièreGroup
2005InterstateNicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2005Lynda Benglis, The Center For Land Use Interpretation, Dan Colen, Gino De Dominicis, Jeremy Deller, Sam Durant, Lucio FNicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2005Pruitt & Early: Drunk vs. StonedGavin Brown's Enterprise, New York City, NYGroup
2005Following And To Be Followed (part V)Le Consortium, DijonGroup
2004Following and to be Followed, Part IVLe Consortium, DijonGroup
2004Following and to be followed (Part III)Le Consortium, DijonGroup
2004No more realityNils Stærk Contemporary Art, CopenhagenGroup
2003Following And To Be Followed (part Ii)Le Consortium, DijonGroup
2003...still or sparkling?John Connelly Presents (JCP), New York City, NYGroup
2003Inaugural Group ExhibitionGavin Brown's Enterprise, New York City, NYGroup
20024th Shanghai Biennale - Urban CreationShanghai Biennale, ShanghaiGroup
2002I Love DijonLe Consortium, DijonGroup
2002Pruitt & Early: Something AnythingMatthew Marks Gallery - 522 West 22th Street, New York City, NYGroup
2001The CultChina Art Objects Galleries, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2001Pruitt & Early: MOCA - Selections from the Permanent CollectionMuseum of Contemporary Art North Miami (MOCA), Miami, FLGroup
2001The Silk Purse ProcedureSpike Island, BristolGroup
2001Two Friends and So OnMarc Foxx Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2001The Love of LookKerstin Engholm Galerie, ViennaGroup
2000Rob Pruitt: Evian WaterfallMoMA PS1, New York City, NYSolo
2000SalonDelfina Project Space, LondonGroup
2000New York ProjectsDelfina Project Space, LondonGroup
2000Sentimental EducationDeitch Projects - 76 Grand Street, New York City, NYGroup
2000Greater New York: New Art in New York NowMoMA PS1, New York City, NYGroup
1999New York: Neither NorGrand Arts, Kansas City, MOGroup
1999100 DrawingsMoMA PS1, New York City, NYGroup
1999Free CokeGreene Naftali, New York City, NYGroup
1999Paradise 8Exit Art, New York City, NYGroup
1997Bring your own WALKMANW139, AmsterdamGroup
1995Pruitt & Early: Elvis + Marilyn: 2 X ImmortalContemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TXGroup
1993Pruitt & Early: Post HumanNeue Formen Der Fuguration In Der Zeitgenössischen Kunst - Deichtorhallen Hamburg, HamburgGroup
1992Pruitt & Early: Pruitt-EarlyLeo Castelli Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
1992Pruitt & Early: Teddy and Other Stories (A.V.)Galleria In Arco, TurinGroup
1992Pruitt & Early: Into The Lapse 1301PE, Los Angeles, CAGroup
1992Pruitt & Early: How It IsTony Shafrazi Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
1991Pruitt & Early: Pruitt-EarlyRegen Projects, Los Angeles, CASolo
1990Pruitt & Early: Pruitt Early 303 Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
1990Pruitt & Early: Stendhal Syndrome: The CureAndrea Rosen Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
1990Pruitt & Early: PaintballRegen Projects, Los Angeles, CAGroup
1990Pruitt & Early: Paintball303 Gallery, New York City, NYGroup