Colette Robbins

Dead Drop @ Honey Ramka

Posted on September 11, 2017


Please join me for: Dead Drop an exhibition featuring 4 of my sculptures and 2 of my paintings in addition to work by Eileen Murphy, John O'Connor, Mitch Patrick,and Mark Sengbusch. I will be in some amazing company!

This show is at one of my favorite galleries in Bushwick: Honey Ramka, this Friday 9-15 from 6-9. Located at 56 Bogart Street (L to Morgan) 1st Floor.


Categories: exhibtions

No Lemon No Melon @ Flowers Gallery Featured on Art Fuse

Posted on September 11, 2017



No Lemon No Melon

27 July – 2 September 2017




This Summer, Flowers Gallery New York is pleased to present 'No Lemon No Melon', opening July 27th, 2017.

No Lemon No Melon brings together eight international artists whose work uses mirroring and layering to reveal structures and patterns present in the surrounding world. Through diverse practices of photography, sculpture and video, the artists approach physical and psychological interactions with commonplace materials and natural phenomena by applying transformative processes of layering, reflection, distortion and repetition. From sculptures that respond to the effects of light, air and gravity to attempts at mimicking or altering the natural world and patterns of behaviour, each implies the notion of a nuanced truth. Reflecting the palindromic title, the works in No Lemon No Melonaddress the unstable and subjective activity of identifying and manipulating meaning and order within our everyday lives.


Colette Robbins’ Archaeological Fiction series is inspired by the iconography of archaeology, neuroscience, psychology, and the mining of her personal history. Influenced by klecksography (creating images through inkblots) and the well-known psychological test, the Rorschach inkblot test, Archaeological Fiction mirrors the human tendency to seek meaning and patterns in visual data, known as apophenia or patternicity. On view in the exhibition are 3D-printed ‘totem’ sculptures from Robbins’ archive of symbolic images and objects. An avid rock collector, the sculptures are created using her photographs of their various shapes, which are manipulated using digital sculpting software, inviting a subjective reading of their abstracted symmetrical forms.

Categories: press, exhibtions

The New Yorker Review

Posted on March 13, 2017



Categories: exhibtions, press

Colette Robbins & Justin Amrhein at Transmitter opening Feb. 17th

Posted on February 09, 2017




FEBRUARY 17 – MARCH 26, 2017 

In Remainders, mythological totems, meticulous drawings of mechanical objects, and graphite drawings reminiscent of Rorschach tests coalesce in an investigation of rational and psychological interpretations of reality. While Justin Amrhein’s schematic drawings depict recognizable objects in a mechanical, seemingly rational and practical manner, Colette Robbins harnesses the irrationality of projecting meaning onto abstract forms in uncannily symmetrical drawings and sculptures. Both artists scrutinize the distinction between fact and fiction, and question the reality that we routinely navigate.

In his drawings, Justin Amrhein utilizes an instructional, schematic format to label the components and functions of objects ranging from mechanical walnut trees to a large-scale engine depicting political history in America. Left open to interpretation is what we are to do with his schematics, and whether they refer to objects that exist in the past, present, or future. Why might a mechanical tree exist, if not to replace the natural species which has gone extinct? One may conclude that the human relationship with technology and the natural world may lead to a post-apocalyptic reality; one in which we must build our environment per Amrhein’s instructions, in order to sustain humanity.

Conversely, Colette Robbins peers inward, and through a process-oriented practice, investigates psychological states and the human drive to project meaning onto visual information. Klecksography—the art of altering inkblots into recognizable images—inspired Robbins’ work, leading her to create hundreds of her own inkblots. She scans and digitally alters these, incorporating images of personally significant places, which lead to her large-scale graphite drawings. Further transforming the abstract, nonobjective inkblot, Robbins creates three-dimensional ‘totems’ from a meticulous process of digital repetition, 3D rendering, 3D printing, sanding, soldering, and painting. Ultimately, the totems take on an allegorical presence reminiscent of ancient archeological forms.

Justin Amrhein, born 1979, received his MFA from San Jose State University, and has exhibited at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts (NY, NY), The Center for Book Arts (NY, NY), Pierogi (NY, NY), Michael Rosenthal (San Francisco, CA), and Axis Gallery (Sacramento, CA), amongst others. His work has been reviewed in numerous publications including Artnews, Wall Street International, and Hyperallergic. He currently lives and works in New York, NY.

Colette Robbins, born 1980, received her MFA from Parsons, the New School for Design, and has exhibited at 101/Exhibit (Los Angeles, CA), The Hole Gallery, (NY, NY), P.P.O.W. (NY, NY), Deitch Projects (NY, NY), Kirk Hopper Gallery (Dallas, TX), Koki Arts (Tokyo, Japan), and Workshop Arte Contemporanea, (Venice, Italy), amongst others. She has been awarded residencies in Norway, Ireland, and at the Vermont Studio Center, and has been actively teaching, lecturing as a visiting artist at several universities, and curating exhibitions at various venues in New York. She lives and works in New York, NY.

Categories: exhibtions

Group Exhibition at Tiger Strikes Asteroid NYC

Posted on February 09, 2017



Past Continuous
Curated by Jackie Hoving and Norm Paris
January 6th – February 12th, 2017
Opening: Friday, January 6th, from 6-9pm


Tiger Strikes Asteroid New York is pleased to present Past Continuous, a group exhibition including the works of Matt BollingerJohn LehrColette RobbinsKara RooneyMickalene Thomas, and Jenny Vogel.

The Past Continuous tense implies an ongoing action rather than a finite occurrence - instead of “she ran”, one would say “she was running.” Here the past is linguistically conjoined with the present. This form of grammar embeds itself within these drawings, photographs, animations, and sculptures in a way that sidesteps nostalgia by negotiating time – its traces and artifacts – as malleable for redefinition.

For John Lehr and Kara Rooney, the trace of an action, or the detritus gathered upon a surface, becomes a source of spectacle and atmosphere. John Lehr’s close inspection of worn surfaces turns Roland Barthes’ observation of the “this-has-been” of photography into a nearly abstract optical experience. Lehr’s images imply a dynamic painterly expanse due to the lack of contextual information, even as his photographs are in fact describing commonplace abraded surfaces in vivid detail. If in Lehr’s work the performance of entropy becomes atmospheric, in Rooney’s, the concrete object becomes performative. Her sculptures and photographic collages hold within them the potential for and echo of past actions. The objects she makes have been acted upon by multiple bodies, and in turn leave a record when animated. Often working in collaboration with choreographers and dancers, Rooney inspects the slippage of language through these forms and structures; exchanges that address, as she says, “the breakdown between memory, linguistic interaction, and actual event.”  

Mickalene Thomas and Matt Bollinger recall parental figures as a vehicle for a sort of time travel. Thomas has cast her mother’s belongings in bronze. This material, associated with permanent memorial, turns once-daily accouterments into calcified mementos. An old digital camera, a necklace, and earrings become powerful relics, the lost-wax casting process destroying the original object while creating a transformed record. Bollinger’s work also mines his own familial history. His large drawing is a reconstruction, based upon the various shops that he would encounter while his father made deliveries for his auto parts retail business; these are places where Bollinger spent countless hours as a child. His hand-drawn animation, titled Mark of the Wolf, is a kinetic archive of many drawings, where both medium and subject invoke the passage of time.

Both Jenny Vogel and Colette Robbins employ modern technology to evoke a synthetic sense of antiquity. Robbins researches diverse sources - rock formations, Rorschach inkblots, and anatomical diagrams – on her way to creating what appear to be artifacts. She uses a combination of traditional drawing media and 3-D modeling software, evoking the mystery of prehistoric form as a metaphor for the way the mind interprets, synthesizes, and forgets information. Vogel has used related technology to create her video The Art of Forgetting, which is built with open-source 3-D scans of sculptures from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The scans meet within a virtual non-space, where both our view and the spoken chorus circulate around these antiquated ghosts.

The works included in Past Continuous do not historicize static moments, but instead actively reformulate the seemingly old into the new through process and material engagement. Time is not so much linear as it is circular. As William Faulkner wrote, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

Categories: exhibtions


Posted on November 16, 2016


Categories: exhibtions, press

Featured in ARTINFO

Posted on September 08, 2016

Categories: exhibtions, press


Posted on August 30, 2016

Flyer 4.jpg

Categories: exhibtions

Solo Exhibition Opening September 10th

Posted on August 29, 2016


Categories: exhibtions

Wall Street Journal

Posted on August 29, 2016


Categories: exhibtions, press


Posted on December 04, 2015




The MOO Blog


Colette Robbins
Presented by Some.Time. Salon

Colette Robbins, Rorschach Totem: Apophenia, Graphite on Papier-Mache on Polymer, 15.5 x 7 x 5.3”, 2015

Inspired by Rorschach dripping ink blot, artist Colette Robbins brings dimensions to life in totem sculptures. In a rigorous technique uploading ink blots into CAD renderings and finishing the sculptures with papier-mache, the artist explores phenomenon wherein one interprets meaning from meaningless patterns.



SOME.TIME.SALON will be presenting at Art on Paper Miami [Booth J5] with works by Kari Cholnoky, August Oz, Colette Robbins, Lauren Toomer, The Second Impression, and Jake Ziemann. 

SOME.TIME.SALON's booth features a playful conversation exploring the limits of 2D through color, line, and form between collages by Jake Ziemann, drawings by Kari Cholnoky, and painterly drawings by August Oz. The artists create whimsy in self-referential abstractions by utilizing quotidian materials and repetitive gestures. The sculptures on view - ceramics by Jake Ziemann and a hybrid of 3D printed plastic and paper by Colette Robbins - are both of the artists attempts to give physical form to the languages developed in their works on paper. 

contact for a pass

Tuesday December 1, 2015
5:00pm to 10:00pm

Public Hours
Wednesday, December 2, 2015 — 11:00am to 7:00pm




SOME.TIME.SALON‘s booth features a playful conversation exploring the limits of 2D through color, line, and form between collages by Jake Ziemann, drawings by Kari Cholnoky, and painterly drawings by August Oz. The artists create whimsy in self-referential abstractions by utilizing quotidian materials and repetitive gestures. The sculptures on view – ceramics by Jake Ziemann and a hybrid of 3D printed plastic and paper by Colette Robbins – are both of the artists attempts to give physical form to the languages developed in their works on paper.


Categories: exhibtions, press


Posted on December 04, 2015



Labyrinth by Keri Oldham & The Devil Within and Without: curated work by Oldham and Colette Robbins 
Inspired by the 1980s cult classic, Keri Oldham creates a modern allegorical watercolor and mixed media series in which she investigates issues of identity, psychosis and story archetypes. The group exhibition curated by Oldham and Robbins explores the inner and outer demons that shape artistic practice. Artists in that exhibit include Lanie DeLay, Bruce Lee Webb, Erin Stafford and more. 



This week we visit Kirk Hopper Fine Art and talk about Keri Oldham’s exhibition, Labyrinth.

Labyrinth is primarily composed of fantastical watercolors of strong women and beasts. Sometimes they have their heads cut off. Also at KHFA is the show“The Devil Within and Without”, which was curated by Keri Oldham and Colette Robbins.



Which is what’s brought her back to Dallas for an opening night at the Kirk Hopper Fine Art Gallery. Her new show features her brightly-colored watercolors of maze-like grids and fantastical beasties, often beaten by warrior-princesses — hence, the exhibition’s title, ‘Labyrinth.’ But in what seems her typical, superhuman, workaholic fashion, Oldham co-curated asecond show at the gallery with Colette Robbins called ‘The Devil Within and Without,’ which includes both New York and Texas artists (including Shane McAdamsand Bruce Lee Webb),  on the things that bedevil them.


Categories: exhibtions, press, curating

Group Exhibition at Kirk Hopper in Dallas

Posted on September 30, 2015

Colette and Ken.jpg

Work by Ken Tisa on the left and Colette Robbins on the right



Work by Shane McAdams, Bruce Lee Webb, Erin Stafford, and Colette Robbins


Solo Exhibition by Keri Oldham on the left work by Richard Hart and Shane McAdams on the right

The Devil Within and Without
Curated work by Keri Oldham and Colette Robbins
October 10-November 14, 2015
Opening reception Saturday, October 10, 6:30-8:30 pm
Artists will be in attendance

KHFA's upcoming group exhibition, The Devil Within and Without: Curated work by Keri Oldham and Colette Robbins, presents themes on the inner and outer demons that shape many artists' creative practices.

Drawing inspiration from folk and outsider art traditions as well as psychology and religion, this exhibition features work by both Texas and New York based artists. The Devil Within and Without includes work by Lanie DeLay, Bruce Lee Webb, Ashley Whitt, Erin Stafford, Colette Robbins, Shane McAdams, Ken Tisa and Richard Hart. Using sculpture, painting, drawing and photography, this group of artists lifts the wool from our eyes to show us the psychological underbelly of a variety of personal and cultural norms. These artists do not stop at the surface level, but delve into the dark side of their ideas, not to be masochistic but rather to gain new insights into the world, by exploring what is sticky, prickly, or uncouth.

Artist Biographies

Shane McAdams's (NYC) reliefs consist of stump-like cross sections of trees, ballpoint pen, Elmer's glue, and resin. The psychedelic motifs he paints inside of each tree sculpture suggests a new history or meaning to the patterns normally found in the cross section of a tree. Fetishized with bright swirling colors, each piece appears to be part of a ritualistic act.

The drawing "Failure I" by Lanie DeLay (Dallas) makes a darkly humorous and possibly familiar flow chart of failure. This drawing opens up the possibility of deconstructing failure as a negative thing. Instead, failure becomes a playful game showing that our cultural constructs of what is to be avoided sometimes needs to be examined.

Richard Hart's (NYC) installation Grace, a wall sculpture made out of hair, brings to mind an unknown religious ceremony or sacrificial rite. Hart challenges our perception of cultural specificity and weaves together many types of cultural stereotypes and relics in order to create new powerful meanings and hierarchies.

A self-proclaimed lover of "hobo lore and train-car graffiti," Bruce Lee Webb's (Waxahachie) portraits of devils have a loose vibrancy often found in folk and outsider art. His style of painting on vintage paper has a homespun quality, while his portraits of devils echo American religious fervor, superstition and fear surrounding ideas of the devil.

Colette Robbin's (NYC) graphite paintings on paper uses the format of a Rorschach ink blot test, which is an iconic image and method of study of psychology. Inside of the ink blots is a detailed textured landscape that shows the possible worlds a person might encounter while gazing into a Rorschach and their own perceptions.

Erin Stafford (Dallas) takes sentimental objects, like vintage china tea sets, cutlery and serving ware and re-contextualizes them by slowly adding mineral formations onto them. When completed, they are no longer the cultural symbols of southern propriety, but hyper renditions of their former forms. Each piece, like a talisman, speaks to our desire to possess, own and absorb the power of objects.

Ken Tisa's (NYC) gouache and watercolor paintings depict figures being wrapped in lasso-like abstract shapes. This obsessive layering of lines obscures the features and clarity of the human form. In doing so these paintings unveil a psychological drama that encompasses the person, reminding us that we are made as much of thoughts and emotions as we are flesh and blood.

Ashley Whitt's (Dallas) ghost-like black and white photographs reference the history of the American occult. Whitt's photographs spark a playful curiosity into the unknown, with in her seemingly sinister achromatic worlds.

Categories: exhibtions, curating

Upcoming Exhibition at SOME.TIME.SALON in San Francisco

Posted on March 24, 2015

April 28th-May 4th

Inline image 2

2015-02-27 16.59.jpg

Basal Ganglia,15”x11”,Watercolour,2015

“Colette’s works evoke a visceral sense of my place on this earth, of my body in relation to my surroundings. Long inspired by natural forms – sprays of water, caves, mountains, islands – her graphite paintings have depicted heads morphing and blending into environments of rock and stone, sand and dirt.


Though the presence of the body is not quite so literal in her new works, I find anatomy in the outline of her Rorschachs and the patterns within them – a pelvic bone, conjoined heads, breasts. This tendency to assign meaning, to see familiarity where there is none, labeled “patternicity” by Michael Shermer, fascinates Colette. She has also begun to experiment with a new medium, watercolor, leading her to create contrast between the colors and dark backgrounds that glow like a starry night.”


~Anna Nearburg, Executive Director


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Categories: exhibtions

Glasstire Write Up

Posted on October 23, 2014



Exquisite Corpse: The Body Altered in the Twenty-First Century

September 19 - October 25, 2014

Mass Gallery

507 Calles Street, Suite 108, AustinTX 78202 Get directions

(512) 470-9453

Now that we’re all “wet robots” and “biological algorithms,” do you want to be a dead body or an exquisite corpse, this show asks? A big group, including Dan Attoe, Jay Davis, Bill Donovan, Austin Eddy, Amir H. Fallah, Chie Fueki, Joshua Hagler, Adam D. Miller, Kymia Nawabi, Christopher Pate, Max Presniell, Colette Robbins, Maja Ruznic, Tom Sanford, Alfred Steiner, Michael Shaw, and Dani Tull.

Categories: exhibtions, press

Featured in Beautiful Decay

Posted on October 23, 2014

“Exquisite Corpse” Exhibition Explores What It Means To Be Human In the 21 Century


MASS Gallery in Austin, Texas recently opened its newest exhibition, Exquisite Corpse. The group curated by Beautiful/Deay’s founder Amir H. Fallah features a myriad of artists, with many that we’ve featured in Beautiful/Decay publications and on our site: Dan AttoeJay DavisBill DonovanAustin EddyAmir H. Fallah, Chie Fueki, Joshua Hagler,Adam D. MillerKymia NawabiChristopher PateMax PresniellColette RobbinsMaja RuznicTom Sanford, Alfred SteinerMichael Shaw, and Dani Tull. In their own way, each artist explores the body and what it means to be human in the modern world.

Exquisite Corpse refers to the collaborative game whose origins are rooted among the Dadist writers as a poetic exercise and the Surrealist later turned into a drawing game. You might’ve played it before; when each person does their part well, it creates an alluring, sometimes grotesque body that was completely unexpected.

This exhibition brings together artists working in both Los Angeles and NYC. As MASS Gallery poetically describes:

A central problem of 21st century life is that the old, psychologically fortifying myths are fading.  Philosophers and scientists have described us as wet robots and biological algorithms, which is perhaps an intentionally shocking way to describe humanity, but these descriptions also seems to get close to a dangerous truth that contains a kernel of abject horror.  It is the artist’s job to create psychologically coherent images which look forward.  It is now a matter of viewpoint whether, when it is all said and done, you are a dead body or an Exquisite Corpse.

In addition to the show, the gallery also produced a full-color catalog that showcases all of the work and an essay by Bill Donovan. The limited-edition, 102 page publication features a beautiful spot UV with fluorescent cover. If you can’t make it to Austin for the show (it’s up until October 25), then the inexpensive-yet-high-quality catalog is totally worth it.

More work by the featured artists as well as sample spreads from the publication after the jump.



Categories: exhibtions, press

Upcoming Exhibition in Austin at MASS

Posted on August 15, 2014



Group Show: Exquisite Corpse

09/19/2014 - 10/25/2014

Opening: Friday, September 19th 7-11 pm

Exquisite Corpse: The Body Altered in the Twenty First Century is a survey of established and emerging artists grappling with the complexities of representing the human figure in the 21st century.  The exhibition is curated by Amir Fallah and features work by: Dan Attoe, Jay Davis, Bill Donovan, Austin Eddy, Amir H. Fallah, Chie Fueki, Joshua Hagler, Adam D. Miller, Kymia Nawabi, Christopher Pate, Max Presniell, Colette Robbins, Maja Ruznic, Tom Sanford, Alfred Steiner, Michael Shaw, and Dani Tull.  MASS is excited to present this group of challenging, provocative artists as they explore the body and what it means to be human in these accelerating times.



Categories: exhibtions

Upcoming Exhibition in Bushwick opening 9/5/2014

Posted on August 15, 2014







9/5/14 6-9pm & on view through 10/5/14

The Varsity presents "New/Idols", a group exhibition opening September 5 from 6-9pm and on view through October 5, 2014. Featuring works by James Case Leal, Elizabeth Glaessner, Matt Jones, Shantell Martin, Alyssa Piro, and Colette Robbins, "New/Idols" invites the viewer to enter the playground of the future, join the creation of new mythologies, and bear witness to emerging iconographies.

Studio 301 NYC 
301 Ten Eyck 
Brooklyn New York


Categories: exhibtions

Upcoming Exhibition in Tokyo

Posted on August 15, 2014

Curated by Dexter Wimberly

Koki Arts

8/29 - 10/4

Opening Reception: August 29, 6-8 PM


A visual exploration of dreams and memories through contemporary abstraction and portraiture featuring new works of art by:


Hugo McCloud

Augustus Nazzaro

Tim Okamura

Nathaniel Mary Quinn

Colette Robbins

Damian Stamer


"Nights, through dreams tell the myths forgotten by the day." - C.G. Jung, 

Memories, Dreams, Reflections


For The Time Being is a group exhibition that explores the intersection of distant dreams and memories. The exhibition's concept is inspired by the American curator's lifelong interest in Japanese culture – a fascination that took the form of dreams and waking aspirations.


The exhibition is a meditation on the passage of time from childhood to adulthood, as well as an examination of time's ability to erode and obscure the past - making it difficult to discern between our memories of events that have actually occurred and our fantasies of what might have been.


Do we remember the past correctly or is there a point at which our dreams seep into our memory - affecting our ability to know what is real and what is imagined? This exhibition provokes a series of similar questions through a presentation of compelling paintings and drawings by a varied group of young, US-based artists.


Each artist is being shown in Japan for the first time. Hence, the exhibition also represents a dramatic shift in the timeline of their careers, as it brings their work to an entirely new audience.


For The Time Being features works of art that are primarily in black and white colors - a curatorial decision meant to strip each artist’s work down to the most basic, minimal elements, while offering the viewer a sense of tranquility and the possibility of greater introspection.



About the curator

Independent curator, Dexter Wimberly was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. A passionate collector and supporter of the arts, Wimberly has exhibited the work of more than 300 individual artists internationally. Wimberly maintains a critical dialogue with emerging artists throughout the world by way of his exhibitions, public programs, and lectures at galleries and public arts institutions such as Mixed Greens Gallery, Driscoll Babcock Galleries, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Brooklyn Historical Society, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), The Savannah College of Art and Design, and The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC). Dexter Wimberly is the Director of Strategic Planning at Independent Curators International (ICI).




東京都千代田区東神田1-15-2 ローズビル1F



1-15-2 Rose Bldg 1F, Higashi-Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 101-0031 Japan

+81 (0)3-3865-8650


Hours: 12:00-19:00, and by appointment

Closed: Sun, Mon, Tues, National Holidays 

Categories: exhibtions

Group Exhibition at Katrina Van Tassel Projects Through September 1st

Posted on August 15, 2014

Wanderers above a sea of smog

Katrina Van Tassel Projects

An exhibition curated by Christian Ruiz Berman
Opening Saturday, Aug 9, 6pm-10pm

Runs Aug 9- Sept 1, open wed-sun 10am-6pm
34 1st Street, NY,NY

Featuring the work of:
Sophia Narrett
Colette Robbins
Giordanne Salley
Andrew Woolbright

In 1818, the German Romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich painted “Wanderer above a sea of fog,” perhaps his most iconic and well-known work.  In the painting, a young man stands atop a rocky escarpment, surveying an untamed and craggy landscape of forest and rocky mountains. The painting is emblematic of the Romantic movement in art and philosophy, which sought to espouse and examine the sublime; a reunion with the spiritual self through the contemplation of nature. The landscape of the romantics was not the safe, organized, and tamed garden of classical civilization; it contained danger, raw power, mystery.  The scenes in Friedrich’s paintings are ones of Kantian self-reflection, expressed through the wanderer's gazing into the foggy unknown. The wanderer’s stance is contradictory, suggesting at once dominion over the landscape and the insignificance of the individual within it. Friedrich explained the need for the artist to match natural observation with an introspective scrutiny of his own personality. In one essay, Friedrich advises the artist to "close your bodily eye so that you may see your picture first with the spiritual eye. Then bring to the light of day that which you have seen in the darkness so that it may react upon others from the outside inwards." He rejected the overreaching portrayals of nature in its "totality", and presaged our 21st century understanding that human emotion and action are indivisible from the uncontrollable forces of nature.  As wilderness has become increasingly conquered and abstracted in physical terms, it has never loomed larger in our own psyche. 

Painting as a practice has long been entangled with humanity’s relationship to the wilderness. The earliest known petroglyphs and cave paintings are, in the most basic terms, an attempt to externalize and record an emotional connection to the power and mystery of the wild.  As an act of expression, painting itself carries elements of our wild beginnings.  As many artists have expressed, the moment we explain or write down an idea, we flatten it – we take it out of the wild, and place it in a room.  Painting allows for ideas to be transmitted freely, poetically, and in a direct manner- a visual and manual exercise that is akin to the act of walking though a forest or meadow.  Forays into nature allow for fascination and surprise, and most of all a type of involuntary attention to the rich variety of one’s surroundings that is not as commonplace in everyday urban life.  While exploring the wild, we de-stress from the required attention and scheduled tasks of working life.  Our psychological connection to nature has evolved as our species moved from the trees, to the savannah, to villages, to towns, and finally to network of civilization that has left few places untouched or unmapped.  In terms of biological evolution, this shift in human experience has happened over a relatively short amount of time.  Our genes and our collective memories still contain the awe, respect and fear of the wild unknown that kept our ancestors alive. 
In 1977, Gene Rosselini walked into the Alaskan wilderness as part of a fateful experiment.  Rosselini, obsessively organized, physically trained, and knowledgeable of basic survival skills, wanted to deduce whether it was possible for a modern human to live as a hunter-gatherer.  Rosselini lived off of berries, trapped game, and plants, and managed to survive the Alaskan winters using only stone tools.  At the end of his Alaskan sojourn, shortly before committing suicide in his hovel for unknown reasons, he wrote
“I began my adult life with the hypothesis that it would be possible to become a Stone Age native.  For over 30 years, I programmed and conditioned myself to this end.  In the last 10 of it, I would say I realistically experienced the physical, mental, and emotional reality of the Stone Age.  But to borrow a Buddhist phrase, eventually came a setting face-to –face with pure reality. I learned that it is not possible for human beings as we know them to live off the land.”
As every corner of the planet became documented and explored, the looming backdrop of the wilderness, onto which we could project our desires and fears, slowly faded.  Rosselini’s experiment, which ended in the late 80’s, coincides with a growing sense that humanity had moved far beyond our ancient ties with the wild; and with a realization that a Romantic idealization of nature as a place to rediscover oneself might have been a naïve dream.  Even intrinsically nature-related art, such as the land art movement of the 70’s, became focused not as much on our personal and emotional connections to the wild, but instead on a broader understanding of landscape as a concept.  Urban centers like New York began to re-establish a new and central identity, and as wilderness disappeared, environmental protection dominated the discourse on nature. By the end of the 20th century, the canvas, itself an empty landscape, faded from prominence- as the power of the physical landscape declined and became politicized.  In the 21st century, the untamed wilderness has become a lost fantasy and a symbol of a past reality; and as such, has regained, through nostalgic and mythological power, its connection to our emotional desires and expressions.  Even as environmental action and “green” practices have become consolidated and commonplace, wild nature continues to disappear.  The frustration, resignation, and anxiety associated with the seemingly unstoppable growth of manufactured civilization have changed our emotional link to what we perceive and value as wild.  What we see in this body of work, and in the works of many other contemporary artists, is a return to painting in a way that connects the internal universe to the external unknown. This is an internalization of the concept of contemporary wilderness- a pictorial exploration of a psychological link with a forest, still strong in it’s symbolic power, but no longer removed from human stewardship.  
This body of work that could only exist in our current timeframe; there is no idealization of nature here- no separation between pure wilderness and human concerns.  However, as environmentalism fails, and humanity seems at times to be heading for complete catastrophe, the power of nature has gained a renewed presence.  Interestingly, these artists grew up in a suburban American landscape that is being partially repopulated by the wild- in a world where trees have regrown into large properties, deer wander the streets, and coyotes and bears prowl at night.  With the restructuring of the environment has come a strange and new cohabitation- one that forces us to both reconsider our place within the natural order, and also to reconnect with the palpable codependence with nature that our ancestors experienced.  These paintings are not merely invented fantasies; in fact we see a deep physical connection with a natural world that is both present and powerful.  The parallels between Friedrich’s 19th century world and ours are palpable; human progress has again led us to the brink of the unknown.  Unlike the time of the Romantics, the physical wilderness of plants and animals, mountains and trees, has been largely tamed.  However, the precariousness of our habitation on the planet still speaks of the universe’s indelible power and chaos. We stand on the edge of a new connection to the environment- and accept ourselves as partly controlling the fate of immediate nature. We find the magic, mystery, and freedom of the untamed wild in our exploring minds- still inextricably built to process life through the mirror of wilderness.  Whether civilization continues to tame the unknown, or we are thrown back cataclysmically into the Stone Age- this question may hinge on our philosophies, the intimate knowledge of ourselves, and our ability to understand and control human emotion. 

Categories: exhibtions

Koi No Yokan II is a featured show on Artsy

Posted on July 09, 2014


Categories: exhibtions, press, curating

Featured in Flaunt

Posted on July 09, 2014


01 JULY 2014


Koi No Yokan at 101/Exhibit

New York-based curator/artist, Colette Robbins recently joined forces with101/EXHIBIT gallery director, Kevin Van Gorp and manifested, Koi No Yokan. The exhibition explores the concept of love and how it affects others. As cliche as this may sound, these works of art are anything but. Giant white sculptures carved in the shape of man consuming identifiable objects and kaleidoscopic paintings are scattered throughout the unassuming space. Both Gorp and Robbins called on a few artists from New York City and Los Angeles to create new and revisit old works for their surreal themed exhibition. If you’re perusing Hollywood area between now and July 26th, be sure to drop in and take peek for yourself.

Categories: exhibtions, press, curating

Koi No Yokan Opens in LA June 7th

Posted on May 28, 2014






101/EXHIBIT presents Koi No Yokan II, a group exhibition co-curated by New York City curator and artist Colette Robbins and gallery director Kevin Van Gorp. This is the second annual installment of the Koi No Yokan summer invitational. The exhibition will be accompanied by a forthcoming full-color 46-page catalog. The opening reception with the artists will be held on Saturday, June 7th, from 7 – 10pm, and will conclude on July 26th. 101/EXHIBIT is located in Hollywood at 6205 Santa Monica Blvd on the corner of North El Centro Ave, one block east of Vine St.

 Koi No Yokan (Japanese) is a truly beautiful concept. It can be defined as the sense one can have upon first meeting another person that the two of them are going to fall in love. In other words, it is the knowledge one has that he/she is going to fall in love with another person. This differs from the idea of “love at first sight” in that it does not imply that the feeling of love exists, rather it refers to the knowledge that a future love is inevitable. -Nita Sharma. Untranslatable Words – Culture – High Tower Flashes, 2010, 2011. July 24, 2013. Web.

For the second iteration of the annual Koi No Yokan summer invitational, 101/EXHIBIT continues to explore new relationships with artists in flourishing states of practice, either emerging or mid-career. As is often the case, the gallery system involves being confronted with non-gallery artists whose work nonetheless commands strict attention, yet neither party can immediately expound upon the new relationship due to scheduling, program direction, and other gallery dynamics. Despite these speed bumps, time is kind and destinies are curved towards an intersection. This instance is explored in our annual survey.

Over this past year, through inter-gallery relationships, we were fortunate to meet Colette Robbins who came to us with the notion of exploring the usage of semiotics amongst practitioners of contemporary art. With the proliferation of Taschen’s The Book of Symbols seemingly popping up in personal book collections of friends and colleagues everywhere, this proposition proved to be a relevant direction of potential.

After a number of tentative and energetically charged conversations with Colette, research into Carl Gustav Jung’s work, and the Archive for Research in Archetypical Symbolism who authored Taschen’s mystic encyclopedia, we developed a cause + effect scenario that would inspire the participants to delve into a mode of self exploration to investigate the existence of any recurring motifs in their work.

Five artists were ultimately chosen to realize these four points:

1. Provide past works that are evidence of past usage of a particular recurring symbol.

2. Explore and include personal objects that support the preoccupation with said symbol.

3. Write a short essay of 200 words to literally or poetically contextualize one’s findings.4. Create new works that strategically refine and     further realize the chosen symbol.

The artists selected for participation are: Tanya Batura (LA), Michelle Hinebrook (NYC), Rachel Roske (LA), Kristen Schiele (NYC), and Colette Robbins (NYC).

Each artist will occupy their own section of the gallery in order for the viewer, being cognizant of the call at hand, to compare and contrast the artists’ responses. As five different answers to the same criteria are presented, the casual show attendee and the aficionados of theoretical underpinnings alike will share in the opportunity to gain greater insight into various forms of contemporary artistic process.

TANYA BATURA – THE HEAD, THE EYE, THE GHOST: Los Angeles sculptor Tanya Batura creates work that has a tendency for the absurd, incongruous and dispossessed. The scale of her disembodied heads suggests a challenge to their materiality, transforming the parameters of ceramics from the familiar towards a commanding sculptural form. The dialogue between the geometric and biological gestures in these forms turns the idea of sculptural figuration on its ear, creating a delicate balance between the sensual and the monumental. The anonymity of the non-gaze these figures possess engages the viewer in a meditation on the creator and the created.

MICHELLE HINEBROOK – COLOR: New York painter Michelle Hinebrook works within the parameters of geometric abstraction, bearing fruits of such varied experiences as memory, sensation, revelation, and material experimentation. The information encoded in her work is veiled by a fragmented construction of explosive light, color, and space. The work recalls a thorough exploration of faceting patterns and crystallography, which acts as the platform for an emotionally kaleidoscopic experience. Additionally, the physicality of these paintings encompasses a keen interest in new imaging technologies, which reveals a dialogue between virtual and physical mediums.

COLETTE ROBBINS – THE RORSCHACH: New York artist and Koi No Yokan co-curator Colette Robbins makes work that explores the psychological end of her previous series, Archaeological Fiction, by using Rorschach imagery as the motif for her landscapes. This foundation abstracts the landscape to a large degree, while still retaining the meticulous texture and feel of its subject. This work also addresses a phenomena author Michael Shermer refers to as “patternicity”. In his words, patternicity is “the tendency to infuse patterns with meaning, intention, and agency”, which Shermer calls “agenticity”. To that end, Robbin’s work commands the viewer to consider the positively transformative aspects of our brains that ignites our curiosity and imagination.

RACHEL ROSKE – THE SHADOW AND THE SUN: The works of Los Angeles painter Rachel Roske operate grossly on two specific levels. Formally, they are singular objects that express their own internal logic through fixed scale, light, and surface quality. As paintings, they bear the burden of historical art’s rarified status in culture. They possess, however, a dark unconscious psychology that contradicts this historical form of painting, creating a schism between expectation and perception. In essence, these paintings describe an intangible moment in time that is loaded with existential heft.

KRISTEN SCHIELE: THE TIGER, THE HAND, WATER: New York artist Kristen Schiele works in both painting and sculpture. Her narratives are informed by a variety of influences including set design, film, mythology, kitsch aesthetics and folklore. In her current work, her playful application of these influences elevates the notion of childhood discovery from the personal to the theatrical.


Categories: exhibtions, curating

Recent Curatorial Project at Cindy Rucker Gallery

Posted on May 28, 2014
Categories: exhibtions, curating

Upcoming Summer Exhibiton

Posted on February 09, 2014









JUNE 7 - JULY 26 2014
Categories: exhibtions, curating

Current Exhibition: Relic in NYC

Posted on January 14, 2014



A three person exhibition at the ISE Cultural Foundation

curated by Ginger Shulick Porcella

January 10th - March 4th

Artist’s talk February 4th 6pm

Closing Reception March 4th

The Bastion, Graphite on Paper, 2014

Categories: exhibtions

Open Studios at Field Projects 10-19

Posted on October 13, 2013

Categories: exhibtions

August Exhibtion

Posted on July 30, 2013



Categories: exhibtions

Site Responsive Installation on Historic Lilac Steamboat with Sit 95

Posted on July 03, 2013



















Categories: exhibtions

Upcoming group Exhibition in LA opens July 20th

Posted on July 03, 2013




Categories: exhibtions

Write up about Desaturated Rainbow

Posted on April 17, 2013




by:  Rebekah Rhoden

Expertly curated by Amir H. Fallah and Colette Robbins, Desaturated Rainbow is a travelling show of work from New York and Los Angeles artists. The show revolves around context, stereotypes and originality of how artists use color on both ends of the country. Desaturated Rainbow will run from April 11th to May 18th at Field Projects in NYC. You can see work from LA-based artists Alison Blickle, Wendell Galdstone, Sherin Guirguis, Amir H. Fallah, Dani Tull, Feodor Voronov, in addition to NYC-based artists Justin Amrhein, Micah Ganske, Norm Paris, Colette Robbins, Michael Schall, and Heeseop Yoon.


Exhibtion Shots: 


Desaturated Rainbow 8



Shout out: 


Categories: exhibtions, press, curating

Group Exhibition: Thanks Curated By Adam Parker Smith @ Lu Magnus Gallery

Posted on March 21, 2013


Categories: exhibtions

Upcoming Exhibition @ Field Projects and Kopeikin Gallery

Posted on March 10, 2013

Categories: exhibtions

Past Shows

Posted on March 08, 2013







 Earth works : Ten Artists on Land and Industry 

curated by Anneliis Beadnell and Stuart Morrison at P.P.O.W. Gallery, NY

The Graphite paintings 'The Warden' and 'The Sentinel' featured in the






Field Projects Show #1 The Living Room

Curated by 

Keri Oldham and Colette Robbins

Dates: Dec. 16th- Dec, 19th

Opening: Friday Dec. 16th, 6:00-8:00pm

526 W 26th Street, #807

Collapse curated by Micah Ganske includes works by: Diana Al-Hadid, Ian Davis, Maria Kozak, Colette Robbins,Erick Swenson, Maximillian Toth, Heeseop Yoon

November 1 — January 13, 2012 

View the press release for Collapse.


"a desert in the ocean" The View from Cill Rialaig: an exhibition of works resulting from a convergence of Irish and American artists and writers in retreat in Co Kerry, Ireland


June 30 - August 19, 2011

Opening Reception: Thursday, June 30th, 6-8pm


Artists/Poets: Katrina Balling, Gemma Billington, Vincent Desiderio, Nicole Etienne, Micah Ganske, Caroline Hinkley,Catherine Howe, Sue Hubbard, Ronnie Hughes, John Jacobsmeyer, Trevor Joyce, Nancy Lorenz, Helen O'Leary, Colette Robbins, Judith Schaechter, Barry Schwabsky, Carol Szymanski

Lesley Heller Workspace

54 Orchard Street

New York, NY 10002


 fәˈsäd- Curated by Michael Meadors.


















The Cill Rialaig Residency in County Kerry, Ireland. 


Categories: exhibtions