Robert Pokorny is an American contemporary visual artist living and working in Los Angeles, California.
With a strong sensibility and awareness to intuition and exactness, Pokorny shares a common visual alignment with the very long tradition of Chinese Painting and the Calligraphic Arts. Much like Calligraphy (translated from the ancient Greek as ‘Beautiful Writing’) Pokorny’s style in his works is focused on the use of ‘line’ to describe and initiate feeling. The principles associated with Chinese Painting (perhaps best exemplified in the ‘Six Principles of Chinese Painting’ established by the 5th century writer and historian Xie He) can be argued to still be present in the approach and somewhat unconscious philosophy of Pokorny’s art - meaning that there is still a focus on vitality in his work, as well as a concentration on ‘brush method’, depiction, and application.
But, to only put Pokorny’s ideas and method into a historical context can be a mistake. Pokorny’s work is also very contemporary in his challenge to present a commentary (however subtle) that is opposed to the superficial and mentally vapid world of what is commonly known as ‘Celebrity Culture’. Though, at first sight, Pokorny’s work might appear to be simple or delicate, Pokorny instead attempts to describe a world (subject) that is complex and multifarious. In that regard, each and every one of Pokorny’s movements, or brushstrokes, is packed with a foresight and intention based on the exploration of the thing observed. Pokorny strives to take a complicated visual world and with a precise and intuitive flourish establish a honed version of reality.
With that effort in mind, Pokorny’s work finds good company with artists in the Western tradition ranging from Matisse and Picasso to Philip Guston and George Condo. If Pokorny’s work is rooted technically in a precise manner associated with traditional Chinese methods of depiction, his ideas are then aligned with a thoroughly contemporary belief that through re-organizing the modern world through a kind of abstraction, we (the viewer) can see that same world in a new and refreshing way that helps us better understand what at first might not be so easily understood in contemporary culture, with it’s emphasis on ‘surface’. In short, Pokorny’s ‘light touch’ with the art he creates through colour, form, and line belies a deeper sensibility and curiosity inherent in the search for meaning.
MFA, California State University Long Beach, 2011
BA, California State University Long Beach, 1992
Primitives AUREUS Contemporary SCOPE Miami, FL 2015
SATURATION Max L. Gatov Gallery Long Beach, CA. 2010
Select New Works Thinkspace Los Angeles, CA. 2008
Transitions M Modern Gallery Palm Springs, CA. 2008
The Red Zone Alpha Cult Long Beach, CA. 2007
Primitives, Art Copenhagen, Aureus Contemporary, Copenhagen, DK 2016
Primitives, ArtSouthampton, Aureus Contemporary, Bridgehampton,NY 2016
Primitives/Derivations, SCOPE, Aureus Contemporary, Basel, CH 2016
Primitives/Derivations, ARTNY, Aureus Contemporary, New York, NY 2016
Primitives/Derivations, Art Wynwood, Aureus Contemporary, Miami, FL 2016
Primitives, SCOPE, Aureus Contemporary, Miami, FL 2015
Derivations/Formations, Aqua Art Fair, Aureus Contemporary, Miami, FL 2015
Primitives, Texas Contemporary, Aureus Contemporary, Houston, TX 2015
Primitives, Art Fair Cologne, Aureus Contemporary, Cologne, DE 2015
Primitives, ArtSouthampton, Aureus Contemporary, Bridgehampton,NY 2015
Primitives, ArtMiami NY, Aureus Contemporary, New York, NY 2015
Formations, Off Course Art Fair, Aureus Contemporary, Brussels, BE 2015
Derivations/Formations, SCOPE, Aureus Contemporary, Miami, FL 2014
Five Year Anniversary Exhibition, Phone Booth Gallery Long Beach, CA. 2013
Palos Verdes Art Center All-Media Juried Exhibition, Rolling Hills Estates, CA. 2012
2CC 10th Anniversary Celebrating a Decade of Art 2nd City Council Art Gallery, Long Beach, CA. 2011
Insights 2010, University Art Museum CSULBLong Beach, CA. 2010
Movers & Shakers, POVevolving Los Angeles, CA. 2009
Looking Glass, Thinkspace Gen Art Vanguard, Miami, FL. 2008
Abstraction Distraction, M Modern Gallery Palm Springs, CA. 2008
Jump Start, Applegate Gallery Santa Monica, CA. 2008
The Summer Show, Applegate Gallery Santa Monica, CA. 2007
Everything but the Kitschen Sync Group Show, La Luz De Jesus Los Angeles, CA. 2006.
The Graphic Noise Show, MODA Museum of Design Atlanta, GA. 2006