Alumna Abby Robinson Presents Work at Independent Art Fair With Tilton Gallery

Mădălina Telea Borteș
May 18, 2023

Visual Arts Alumna Abby Robinson ’22 presented several works with Tilton Gallery at this year’s Independent Art Fair, hosted at Spring Studios in the Tribeca art district from May 11 to 14, 2023. 

Focused on emerging and blue-chip artists, and open to galleries only by invitation, the Independent Art Fair is well known to advance participating artists’ careers. 

This year, Tilton Gallery’s exhibition of works exclusively featured Robinson’s pieces, spanning oil and acrylic paint on wood and canvas to plaster sculptures and large-scale installations. 

Process, experimentation, and innovation are the prime tenets of Robinson’s artistic practice. She is also remarkably deft at drawing a line and extending it through a variety of materials to create iterations of mark-making that interact, collide, and push forth in novel ways. 

Of her practice, Tilton Gallery noted, “The immediacy of drawing and line unites all elements of the work, conjured as mark, trace, and spatial delineation…In Robinson's installations, the line is challenged; draped chains defy the precision of the grid as structure. The delicacy of her formal environments is accentuated by her specific palette of soft hues, punctuated with moments of saturation and the dynamism of her worked-upon surfaces.” 

We recently caught up with Robinson for an in-depth conversation as part of our Encounters series and asked about her expansive approach to making work for this exhibition, which will include sculptures as well as paintings on canvas and wood panel. 

Although “paintings are contained as these magical flat things, like pages in a book, that can enclose lived experience and wisdom,” Robinson said, “sculptures do something that paintings can’t do in that they interrogate space in a different way.” 

In Wall drawing (73 3/4" x 101" x 4," steel, copper, plaster, oil, acrylic, flashe, vinyl, and yarn, 2023), one of the installation pieces at the fair, Robinson employs the wall, angularity, the grid, and gaps in space to render a three-dimensional puzzle of brightly painted plaster forms situated in relation to covalent lines made of beads, chains, and steel. It is possible to spend hours constructing and reconstructing the multiple interpretations this piece engenders. 

Wall drawing stood alongside three intricate perch-like figures, C-Block Revisited, constructed from plaster cloth, aluminum, paper, acrylic, and pencil (24 1/2" x 12" x 11," 2023), As a cloud (22 1/2" x 12" x 12," oil, plaster, paper, plaster cloth, aluminum, and clear gesso, 2023), and Uluwatu (13" x 8 1/2" x 8," acrylic, plaster, pencil, plaster cloth, paper, and aluminum, 2023), which punctuated the space with an indelible essence of whimsy and sincerity. 

Regardless of form, discipline, or scale, in this solo exhibition, it is clear that materials drove Robinson’s artistic practice and her questions of repetition, accumulation, and chance. 

Abby Robinson was born in 1984 in New Orleans, LA and received her Masters of Fine Arts from Columbia University School of the Arts in 2022. Her work has been featured in New American Paintings (2022), Architectural Digest, and exhibited in several group exhibitions including at The Fireplace Project in East Hampton, NY, half gallery in New York, NY, bungalow at Westbeth Gallery in New York, NY, and Golsa Gallery in Oslo, Norway. Robinson lives and works in New York, NY.