March 8th – June 17th
Robert Willams ‘SLANG Aesthetics!’ at LSU Museum (Baton Rouge, LA)
Thursday, March 8th 6-8:30PM
On View: March 8th – June 17th, 2018
Taking Place At:
LSU Museum of Art
100 Lafayette St,
Baton Rouge, LA 70801
On March 8, 2018, LSU Museum of Art will exhibit the work of Robert Williams.
Robert Williams: Slang Aesthetics showcases over 30 oil paintings as well as ephemera and drawings by the artist upheld as the godfather of the lowbrow and pop surrealist art movements.
Robert Williams’ epic cartoon-inspired history paintings draw from American vernacular and its visual slang. Relying on concrete, relatable, and often absurd imagery to invoke social commentary, Williams work continues to confront and confound. In the 1960s, Williams began creating work that channeled the shifting energies and immediacy of counterculture. His paintings rejected the prevailing dominance of conceptual minimalism, focusing instead on a return to craftsmanship, figuration and popular imagery. In 1979, Williams coined the term “low brow” as a way to articulate his opposition to an establishment “high” art world from which he was excluded. For better or worse, “low brow” became the namesake of the fledgling New Contemporary movement, which Williams was instrumental in fostering.
Williams grew up immersed in California’s hot rod Kustom Kulture, Rock n’ Roll and EC Comics, and was steeped in the populist currents of his era. He worked commercially and became studio Art Director to Kustom Kulture icon Ed “big daddy” Roth in 1965, and was a founding contributor to the underground ZAP Comix in the late 60s, all the while creating his own caustic, unapologetic work. In 1994 Williams founded Juxtapoz Art & Culture Magazine, a publication dedicated to the underground, which has become the top-selling art magazine worldwide.
This program is made possible in part by the Louisiana Decentralized Arts Funding Grant from the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge in cooperation with the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, and Louisiana State Arts Council. Additional support for this exhibition is provided by Annual Exhibition Fund donors The Imo N. Brown Memorial Fund in memory of Heidel Brown and Mary Ann Brown; Louisiana CAT; Charles Schwing; Alma Lee, H.N. and Cary Saurage Fund; Newton B. Thomas Family/Newtron Group; LSU College of Art + Design; and Susanna Atkins McCarthy.
Robert Williams: Slang Aesthetics is presented courtesy of the Artist, Thinkspace Gallery, and curator Josef Zimmerman and will be on view at the LSU Museum of Art March 8 through June 17, 2018.
Robert Williams: Slang Aesthetics reception
March 8, 2018, 6–8:30 p.m.
Artist Robert Williams will give a gallery talk at 6:30 p.m. Hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will be available. $10 for general public, $5 for students/faculty with ID, free for LSU MOA members.
Film Screening with Manship Theatre: Robert Williams: Mr. Bitchin’
March 11, 2018, 6–8:30 p.m.
Manship Theatre will screen the documentary Robert Williams: Mr. Bitchin’ in conjunction with Slang Aesthetics. Mr. Bitchin’ delivers insight into multiple American counter-cultures by following the great American artist and underground legend Robert Williams. From Hot Rods to Punk and Metal, from LSD to the top of the art world, the influential paintings of Robert Williams defied categorization until they became their own art movement. Museum admission before the film is included in the ticket price. $8.50 for general public, $7 for LSU MOA members.
March 15, 2018, 6–8 p.m.
LSU art history professor Joe Givens will give a gallery talk on the work of Robert Williams in the fifth floor museum, followed by a rooftop beer tasting with Brasseurs a la Maison homebrewers. $10 for general public, $5 for members, free for Contemporaries.
Brown Bag Lunch: Horrors of Morality
April 4, 2017, 12–1 p.m.
LSU art history professor Joe Givens will discuss morality in the work of Robert Williams and William Hogarth, whose moralizing print series from LSU Museum of Art’s Permanent Collection are on display in conjunction with Robert Williams: Slang Aesthetics. Free to attend.