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Artist Spotlight: Robert Mangold

Community Spotlights
Artist Spotlight: Robert Mangold

Exploring the sublime simplicity through abstraction and geometry.

Icon of American art, Robert Mangold, has dedicated his career to exploring the connection between line, color, form, and space. Since the 1950s, Mangold has practiced abstract art, creating his own niche by using geometric shapes and patterns across various mediums.

Throughout his career, Mangold always sought new ways to create. He experimented with different materials like plywood and masonite to stretched canvas. Eventually settling on canvas as his primary surface, Mangold began evolving his techniques for different painting applications.

Robert Mangold, Multiple Panel Paintings Edition C, 1973-1976.

Robert Mangold defied the conventional norms of abstraction by introducing painting on shaped and multi-panel canvases. He draws the lines by hand with a pencil and later adds paint. He started his career using airbrushed oil paints, transitioned to rollers, and finally settled on brushes. Mangold tends to use acrylic paints in subtle, almost translucent shades.

Robert Mangold, Red/Yellow Extended Frame, 2015.

Over time, the artist’s use of color changed. At first, Mangold was inspired by industrial colors but later developed into using colors that exude different emotions. His intention behind this shift included using abstraction as a mode of communication. With each hue expressing a particular feeling, Mangold is communicating to his audience.

Mangold believes that abstract painting challenges the way people think. There aren’t clear things you can recognize, so you need to get involved when you look at it. He’s known for his minimalism and attention to detail in each one of his paintings, sculptures, or drawings.

Robert Mangold, The Pace Gallery in New York City.

Mangold has been featured in major institutions all over the world including Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York to the Tate Gallery in London. He’s been significantly recognized for his art, receiving the Guggenheim award in 1969.

Robert Mangold’s abstract and geometric art continues to captivate and challenge us. He makes us think about colors or shapes, and how they can create a dialogue with us. Today, his work shows that there is still a lot to discover in abstract art.

Portrait of Robert Mangold courtesy of Jason Schmidt Artists.