Exhibition

Robb Putnam: Foundlings

Press Release

In his second solo exhibition with Rena Bransten Gallery, Robb Putnam transforms the project space into an experience of childhood’s more private, intimate, and terrifying moments with his installation “Foundlings.”  Putnam uses cast-off materials – shredded rags, thread, leather, vinyl, and plastic bags – to bring life to the elusive, yet deeply felt memories of imaginary friends, fears, and private comforts of childhood.  He stitches and binds the detritus into large scale animal forms that sag from the wall and life-sized rats that cascade from the ceiling.  “Foundlings” also sees a shift to an abstract modality with Putnam’s reference to pelts; flattened forms that evoke shadows of anthropomorphic figures and approximations of animal-like creatures, the pieces in the Pelts series serve, in the artist’s words, as “ghosts of memories that we all share, totems that reside in the playroom of our collective emotional memory.”  Further occupying this liminal space are the characters in Putnam’s ink and watercolor drawings; a not-quite discernible but distinctly palpable language emerges from the surfaces of the paper.  The work is imbued with potential – like dolls and toys ready to spring to life when the lights go out.

Putnam received his BFA from the Maryland Institute, College of Art in Baltimore and an MFA from Mills College in Oakland, CA.  He was a recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant.  His work was recently included in exhibitions at Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek and Bellevue Arts Museum in Bellevue, Washington and a large-scale sculpture of his was recently acquired by the Palm Springs Art Museum.  Putnam currently lives and works in Oakland.

In his second solo exhibition with Rena Bransten Gallery, Robb Putnam transforms the project space into an experience of childhood’s more private, intimate, and terrifying moments with his installation “Foundlings.”  Putnam uses cast-off materials – shredded rags, thread, leather, vinyl, and plastic bags – to bring life to the elusive, yet deeply felt memories of imaginary friends, fears, and private comforts of childhood.  He stitches and binds the detritus into large scale animal forms that sag from the wall and life-sized rats that cascade from the ceiling.  “Foundlings” also sees a shift to an abstract modality with Putnam’s reference to pelts; flattened forms that evoke shadows of anthropomorphic figures and approximations of animal-like creatures, the pieces in the Pelts series serve, in the artist’s words, as “ghosts of memories that we all share, totems that reside in the playroom of our collective emotional memory.”  Further occupying this liminal space are the characters in Putnam’s ink and watercolor drawings; a not-quite discernible but distinctly palpable language emerges from the surfaces of the paper.  The work is imbued with potential – like dolls and toys ready to spring to life when the lights go out.

Putnam received his BFA from the Maryland Institute, College of Art in Baltimore and an MFA from Mills College in Oakland, CA.  He was a recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant.  His work was recently included in exhibitions at Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek and Bellevue Arts Museum in Bellevue, Washington and a large-scale sculpture of his was recently acquired by the Palm Springs Art Museum.  Putnam currently lives and works in Oakland.

In his second solo exhibition with Rena Bransten Gallery, Robb Putnam transforms the project space into an experience of childhood’s more private, intimate, and terrifying moments with his installation “Foundlings.”  Putnam uses cast-off materials – shredded rags, thread, leather, vinyl, and plastic bags – to bring life to the elusive, yet deeply felt memories of imaginary friends, fears, and private comforts of childhood.  He stitches and binds the detritus into large scale animal forms that sag from the wall and life-sized rats that cascade from the ceiling.  “Foundlings” also sees a shift to an abstract modality with Putnam’s reference to pelts; flattened forms that evoke shadows of anthropomorphic figures and approximations of animal-like creatures, the pieces in the Pelts series serve, in the artist’s words, as “ghosts of memories that we all share, totems that reside in the playroom of our collective emotional memory.”  Further occupying this liminal space are the characters in Putnam’s ink and watercolor drawings; a not-quite discernible but distinctly palpable language emerges from the surfaces of the paper.  The work is imbued with potential – like dolls and toys ready to spring to life when the lights go out.

Putnam received his BFA from the Maryland Institute, College of Art in Baltimore and an MFA from Mills College in Oakland, CA.  He was a recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant.  His work was recently included in exhibitions at Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek and Bellevue Arts Museum in Bellevue, Washington and a large-scale sculpture of his was recently acquired by the Palm Springs Art Museum.  Putnam currently lives and works in Oakland.

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