Robert Cook American, 1921-2017


Fluid, dynamic, and energetic best describe the work of American sculptor Robert Cook. Cook’s impressive ability to capture motion in his bronze forms is created by lost wax casting, or cire perdue. This distinctive and intricate technique is translated into aesthetically captivating and mind-provoking sculptures. 


The New York Times critic Stuart Preston once claimed,

Cleverness and absolute assurance of technique and overall design identify Robert Cook’s new semi-abstract metal sculpture. He tackles the kind of subject matter, massed figures and animals in motion, that would seem to be intractable to a sculptural treatment. He succeeds in this attempt by re-introducing subjects to skeletal lines of force, somewhat in the manner of futurism”.


The exhibition will feature twenty-one of Robert Cook’s most intriguing works. Among them are Gaiety, whose lively and spirited forms create positive and negative space and almost mimic a graceful, choreographed dance; Pan 1, a portrayal of the purely natural interaction of human and animal in a circular shape that reflects the cycles of life and death; Five Senses, which further embodies the theme of “Circles and Cycles” in Cook’s work and has a mythological and even eerie presence; and finally Virasat Curved, which demonstrates a juxtaposition between the inherently fluid essence of movement and its physical translation into geometric, rigid body structures that are fixed in time. These four sculptures alone reveal the true versatility of Cook’s work, not only in terms of size and subject matter, but also with regards to his unique and cerebral artistic rhetoric.


Over the years Robert Cook’s innovative mind and skillful practice have allowed him to forge a successful lifetime career in the world of sculpture. He has studied in Boston, Paris, and Rome, and boasts an impressive list of achievements, such as grants from the Tiffany Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Fulbright Commission. Cook’s work has been widely exhibited across the globe, both in similar one-man shows and in public spaces as well. Dinoceras, for example, was first installed in 1971 in a Park Avenue plaza in New York City. Striking and massive, the 20-foot-long sculpture has a commanding presence and demonstrates Cook’s signature forms, which are enveloped in a flowing movement that is both sophisticated and primitive.


Chiurazzi Gallery, Rome, 1950, 1951

Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, 1951

Sculpture Center, New York, NY, 1953, 1955, 1957, 1959, 1961, 1976, 1980, 1981

Boston Arts Festival, 1954, 1955

Whitney Museum of Contemporary Art, 1952

Whitney Museum Annuals, 1953, 1956

Grover Cronin Compass Room, Waltham, Massachusetts

Munson-Williams Proctor Institute, Utica, New York, 1961

Galleria 88, Rome, 1963, 1969, 1979

Ravinia Festival, Chicago, Illinois, 1963

Birmingham Museum of Fine Arts, Birmingham, Alabama, 1967

Hunter Gallery Museum, Chattanooga, Tennessee, 1967

Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina, 1967

Carroll Reece Museum, Johnson City, Tennessee, 1968

Tyler School of Art, Rome, Italy, 1968

Norfolk Museum, Norfolk, Virginia, 1968

Virginia Museum, Richmond, Virginia 1968

Walter C. Rowe Museum, Courtland, Virginia, 1968

Museum of Arizona University, Tucson, Arizona, 1969, 1970

Wellfleet Art Gallery, Wellfleet, Massachusetts, 1970, 1972

Centerville Gallery, Centerville, Delaware, 1971

Mickelson Gallery, Washington, D.C. 1971

Art Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, 1974, 1975

Nesto Gallery, Milton, Massachusetts, 1976

Schenectady Museum, Schenectady, New York, 1977

Concourse Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts, 1977

Creighton University Art Gallery, Omaha, Nebraska, 1978

Sun Company Headquarters, Radnor, Pennsylvania, 1978

Glass Art Gallery, Toronto, Canada, 1991

Newman Saunders Gallery, Wayne, Pennsylvania, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1999

Simmons Gallery, London, England, 1998, 1999

Newman Saunders Gallery, Wayne, Pennsylvania, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1999

Elaine Benson Gallery, Bridgehampton, New York, 1997, 1998

Museums and Public Collections

Americana Hotel, Miami, Florida

British Museum, London, England

Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota

Civic Auditorium, Canberra, Australia

Cumberland House, New York, NY

Garrison Landing, Garrison, New York

Gerald Gidwitz, Highland Park, Illinois

Hirshhorn Collection, Washington, D.C.

Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston

Jeddah Traffic Circle, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Johnson City Press Chronicle Building, Johnson City, Tennessee

Johnson Foundation, Racine, Wisconsin

Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

Milton Academy, Milton, Massachusetts

Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, Alabama

Museo de Arte Abstracta Espanola, Cuenca, Spain

Norton Gallery, West Palm Beach, Florida

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Ravinia Park, Chicago, Illinois

Rising Public Library, Southern Pines, North Carolina

Rudin Management, 345 Park Avenue, New York, NY

Rudin Management, 80 Pine Street, New York, NY

San Diego Trust Company, San Diego, California

Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts

Southland Building, Dallas, Texas

State University College Museum, Oneida, New York

Sun Company, Radnor, Pennsylvania

University of Massachusetts

Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Virginia

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York

The Woodlands, Houston, Texas

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