For the last four decades, Robert Hudson
has been known for his large-scale welded-steel and poly-chromed steel and bronze sculptures. Based in the San Francisco Bay area, the artist has also produced a large body of paintings and drawings during a distinguished career. Emerging from the assemblage sculpture and Funk art movements in California during the late 1950s and 1960s, Hudson has consistently presented spatially and formally complex works, most often characterized by found objects, visual strength and intellectual wit.
His exploration continues in this most recent body of work for his current exhibition of sculpture at Elizabeth Leach Gallery. Hudson constructs the work out of welded steel, stainless steel, shards of cast iron sinks, tools, and found objects. Some of the objects were discovered while exploring the high desert landscape, which he has done since he was a child. Hudson’s father worked as a carpenter in the mines in Nevada and elsewhere; tools have always been important to him as objects. He uses both the existing color on the broken iron sinks and color created with pigmented resin. The sculptures are at once elegant and raw, precarious and grounded, intellectual and experiential, profound and humorous. With compositional flair, Hudson plays with the viewers’ sense of balance and perception through the use of color, materials, and juxtapositions. Some works are kinetic and invite direct engagement, yet stationary works also engage by presenting a new composition from every viewpoint.
Robert Hudson grew up in Richland, Washington and earned his BFA and MFA at the California School of Fine Arts, now known as the San Francisco Art Institute. He has exhibited widely since 1961, and his work is included in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Boston, MA), The Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (San Francisco, CA), Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadephia, PA), and the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam, Netherlands).