Salted Not Sugared

Press Release

Ben Shahn Center for the Visual Arts announces the opening of Salted Not Sugared, a solo exhibition of works by Andrew Cornell Robinson. This is the first exhibition to extensively survey the interdisciplinary art of NYC based, New Jersey native artist Andrew Cornell Robinson, presented by William Patterson University’s Ben Shahn Center for the Visual Arts, curated by Casey Mathern  

February 5–March 22, 2024 Opening reception: Wednesday, February 28, 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. Artist talk: 4:00 p.m.  

Ben Shahn Center for the Visual Arts
William Paterson University
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, NJ 07470
Directions to the gallery  

Contact: Casey Mathern, Director
(973) 720-2654

Andrew Cornell Robinson is the 2023 grand-prize winner of the University Galleries’ national juried printmaking exhibition Ink, Press, Repeat. Cornell Robinson employs a multifaceted artistic approach encompassing oil painting, printing, drawing, and assemblage to explore queer and peculiar revisionist histories. This solo exhibition of new work and groups created over the last decade (2014-2024) is organized around the artist’s reminder that not everything is what it seems and presents Cornell Robinson’s concurrent evolution across diverse media as he investigates seriality, material culture, and narrative personae.

Drawing serves as a central element in the creative process of Cornell Robinson’s work, intertwining his expressions in ceramic sculpture, drawings, prints, and paintings. The work focuses on personal experiences juxtaposed against collective mythologies, and exploring representations of the queer and peculiar within normative cultural contexts. Employing an intuitive response to materials, the artist embraces an interdisciplinary approach, bridging art, design, and craft with new technologies and narrative strategies. Projects often commence with historical research centered around a person, place, or thing, allowing for the reimagining of memory through images and artifacts, crafting revisionist histories that delve into notions of mistranslation and representation.

A recent project he developed while he was in residence at Guttenberg Arts in NJ, led to a series of printed juxtapositions of police surveillance imagery with vanitas floral still-lives symbolic of the ephemeral nature of pleasure amidst deliberate obfuscation. Within his fractured abstractions, a visual lexicon emerges, depicting the dual nature of otherness and the liminal space between worlds.

Cornell Robinson’s multifaceted approach involving oil painting, printing, drawing, and assemblage creates a network of images and objects that explore queer and peculiar revisionist histories. Portraits, sites, and artifacts rendered on canvas, in clay, glass, paper and metal are layered with pattern, color, gesture, and sgraffito, resulting in a camouflage and abstraction, akin to a simultaneous self-invention and erasure.

The artist’s intention includes a joyful exploration of material and form and a simultaneous transformation of conventional narratives that invite viewers into a contemplative realm where personal histories, social narratives, and abstractions converge. Through art, the artist seeks to evoke curiosity, empathy, and emotional resonance, offering a space for dialogue and reflection.

Photographer Joe Jagos