Robin Tewes

Robin Tewes
painting and drawing

Bio:
Presently represented by the Adam Baumgold Gallery, 74 E 79th Street, New York City, Robin Tewes has exhibited nationally and internationally in galleries and museums such as The Whitney Biennial, Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, The Snug Harbor Cultural Center Museum, The Norton Museum of Art, Pelham Art Center, The Weatherspoon Art Museum, The Aldridge Museum of Contemporary Art, The Baltimore Museum, LACE, The Hopper Museum, The Drawing Center, P.S. 1, The P.P.O.W. Gallery, White Columns, The Alternative Museum, The New Museum, and Art in General. Some solo exhibitions include The Adam Baumgold Gallery, The Spencertown Academy of Art, The Bill Maynes Gallery, The John Weber Gallery, The Faggionato Fine Art Gallery, Rutgers University, Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series, Art In General, Window Installation, Queens College, and The Klapper Hall Gallery. Her work has been reviewed in Artforum, Art in America, Artnews, Tema Celeste, Arts Magazine, The New York Times, The Drawing Society, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Soho Weekly News, and Village Voice . Some awards include The Gottlieb Foundation Award, NYFA, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Artists Space, Djerassi and Pyramid Atlantic Residency. She is an adjunct associate professor of fine arts at Pace University and has taught at Parsons and Bard (M.F.A. Program). She presented invited lectures at The University of Massachusetts, The Cranbrook Academy of Art (Michigan), The Corcoran Museum (Washington, D.C.), The University of California, and Middlebury College (Vermont). Residencies include Djerassi (California), Pyramid Atlantic (Maryland), Yale (Norfolk), and MaryMount Manhattan College (New York).

Route 98
Route 98
I'm not home right now
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Route 107
Route 107
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Route 112
Route 112
Faith
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Route 113
Route 113
I do not want
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Route 116
Art of Happiness
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Route 118
Out of the blue
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Route 119
Route119
Another tasteful discussion
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Route 129
Route 129
All the same
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Route 138
Route 138
Performance revised
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Abstract #1
Abstract #1
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Remote Control #2
Remote Control #2
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Artist's Statement:

Artist Robin Tewes
Written by Traci Ludwig

Robin Tewes always knew she wanted to be an artist. Even before she could talk, she understood the excitement of drawing. "One of my earliest memories is that of picking up a crayon, moving it across a paper and seeing a line that stayed there. I was amazed! I couldn't explain it - I must have been a toddler - but it fascinated me that I made that line." As she grew, she continued to be fascinated with crayons and other art materials, learning by practicing that she could use them to create drawings that looked any way that she wanted.

In her school in Richmond Hills, Queens, Tewes was always the class artist, always the one who spent the most time drawing. Although she never took classes or visited museums, by the time she was getting ready to go into the 7th or 8th grade, her teachers recognized her talent. "One day, they pulled me aside, and I thought I was going to get in trouble," Tewes explained. "Then, my teachers told me about a specialized high school in Manhattan called The High School of Art and Design. It was for students who were good at art and wanted to become artists."

She enrolled there in the 9th grade and began taking her first formal classes in art. Most of them focused on illustration and commercial uses of art, rather than on pure creative expression. Nevertheless, Tewes remembers "it was wonderful to be learning with other kids my own age who also loved art as much as I did. There was healthy competition and we were able to learn from each other as well as from the instructors." Interested in the narrative (storytelling) aspect of art, Tewes majored in cartooning there.

After she graduated from high school, she spent some time working and traveling, always recording in a notebook the people she met and the adventures she had. When she returned to New York, she enrolled as an art major at Hunter College in New York City. There she continued her study of art and was also able to take art history classes and other courses in other subjects such as math and philosophy.

After graduating she became involved with a group of artists living and working in Manhattan's Lower East Side. This was in the late 1970s, before that area became as well known as it is today. "I think it's very important for artists to be together with other artists. We share similar experiences and help each other grow. By understanding other people's work, you can better understand your own. Also, artists know the art scene and can recommend shows that would be good for fellow members of their artist community," she said before adding ". . . besides, we also trade work with each other. I have a wonderful collection of other people's work through trades."

Involving herself with the artists' community, Tewes founded the P.S. 122 Association, which was a group which uses an old school building to provide studio space for artists. She also got in touch with galleries where she began to have exhibitions (shows.) "They started like a slow drip - one after the other," she said, "and then they came like a flood." Soon, her career was taking off, and since that time, Tewes has been regularly showing in galleries and museums - both in one-person shows and group exhibitions. She also does some commissioned works of art for private collectors. These are usually portraits of people in interior spaces.

Throughout her career, Tewes has always tried to create art that "has something to say" - about her own experiences and about human experiences in general. She believes that people's lives and feelings share similarities, and she tries to be open about her own life to help other people who view her art understand their own lives as well. Sometimes, important objects or people repeat in Tewes's art. For example, childhood images of her son Dylan (now 17 and a musician) and Dylan's childhood "boobie doll" appear over and over again; as do camouflaged patterns in the background and a cloudy sky seen through a window. "In my paintings, objects are just as important as people. Almost everything holds some sort of meaning; so a viewer has to look closely. Even empty spaces can suggest loneliness or the absence of something," she explained.

Tewes said she gets her ideas from her own life or things that have happened to her or other people. Sometimes she uses photographs and images recycled from books and magazines as references for her paintings. She likes to combine these images with objects and ideas from her imagination. Starting from a "collage" of ideas and visuals in her head, Tewes first creates sketches before she begins to paint. Once she has started, it usually takes her two to three weeks to finish a painting. Recently, she said she has gone back to some of her earlier paintings where she thought "something was missing" and she has begun to re-work them, painting in ghostlike figures or painting out things that she felt no longer belonged. She calls these paintings "Re-visions."

Two "Re-visions" are currently being shown at Pelham Art Center's "Lovely, Dark, and Deep." This show focuses on how some women artists have used elements of fairy tales in personal works of art. Some of these works use fairytale imagery, settings, characters, or themes, and most use them in non-traditional ways.