Robert Arneson: Self-Reflections

Foreword by John R. Lane; preface by Gary Garrels; essay by Jonathan Fineberg; additional texts by Janet Bishop, Jonathan Fineberg, and Gary Garrels; chronology and bibliography by Suzanne Feld

84 pages, 8 ½ x 11 ¾ inches, softcover

Published in 1997

During a career spanning more than thirty years, Bay Area artist Robert Arneson (1930–1992) created an extraordinary body of work. His sculptures challenge conventional notions of “high” and “low” art in their formal invention, while their seemingly whimsical, humorous content frequently masks a darker, more critical element. Often turning to himself as a subject, Arneson produced a large number of intensely revealing portraits that reflect his growth both as an individual and as an artist. Starting with his sardonic 1965 work Portrait of the Artist Losing His Marbles and ending with the penetrating works Chemo 1 and Chemo 2, which the artist made while being treated for cancer, these portraits expose an uncommon element of self-scrutiny and public revelation. They also powerfully manifest why Arneson’s accomplishments in this form are unsurpassed by those of his contemporaries. Including an essay exploring the artist’s self-portraiture in the context of his life, this volume also features lavish color illustrations of more than fifty of Arneson’s self-portraits — from sculptures in ceramic and bronze to works on paper.

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Robert Arneson: Self-Reflections, held at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (February 14–May 13, 1997)

ISBN 9780918471390 (softcover)