Born in Los Angeles in 1937, conceptual artist Robert Kinmont spent his early years outside the small rural town of Bishop, California, before settling in Sonoma, his home of over 30 years. The artist’s approach and process have continuously been informed by his deep connection to the California landscape, evident in the recurrent use of natural elements such as wood, dirt, copper, and water. In the 1970s, Kinmont took a 30-year hiatus from his art practice to study Zen Buddhism and work as a carpenter.
Trying to understand where I grew up profiles his prolific art-making periods before and after this break, including some works exhibited for the first time. The exhibition also marks the first Bay Area solo presentation by the artist in over 45 years, providing a unique opportunity to view Kinmont’s evolution from early works of the late 1960s and ’70s to those following his reemergence in 2005. Through works in photography, sculpture, and video, Kinmont explores the interdependency between man and nature. Taken as a whole, the four elements Kinmont considers essential to his artistic language—the conceptual, structural, natural, and civic—remain common threads throughout the artist’s body of work.
Related Public Programs & Events:
Saturday, November 7, 2015, 4-6 PM (Free)
Location: Gatehouse Gallery
Saturday, January 23, 2016, 4-5:30 PM
Closing Reception & Conversation
Location: Gatehouse Gallery
$10 General / $5 Members
About the Artist
Robert Kinmont was born in Los Angeles in 1937 and grew up in Bishop, CA. He received his BFA from San Francisco Art Institute in 1970 and his MFA from the University of California, Davis, in 1971. From 1968 to 1981, he exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Art; the de Young Museum, San Francisco; the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others. During this time Kinmont also held teaching positions at Ontario College of Art, San Francisco Academy of Art, University of California, Berkeley, and San Francisco Art Institute. In 1976, he founded and taught at Coyote, an art school in Bishop, CA. From 1981 to 2004, Kinmont studied Buddhism and worked as a carpenter. He returned to his artistic practice in 2005, and has since exhibited in several group exhibitions including State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970 co-organized by the Berkeley Art Museum and the Orange County Museum of Art; Ends of the Earth: Art of the Land to 1974 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Afterlife: A Constellation, curated by Julie Ault as part of the 2014 Whitney Biennial. He has also had solo exhibitions at Alexander and Bonin, New York (2009, 2011) and RaebervonStenglin, Zurich (2012, 2015). He lives and works in Sonoma, CA.