“Robert Mangold’s paintings, are more complicated to describe than they seem, which is partly what’s good about them: the way they invite intense scrutiny, which, in the nature of good art, is its own reward.” - Michael Kimmelmann, New York Times
Robert Mangold is an American minimalist artist. His works are comprised often of simple elements which are put together through complex means. He renders the surface of each canvas with subtle color modulations and sinewy, hand drawn graphite lines. While his focus on formal considerations may seem paramount, he also delights in thwarting those considerations—setting up problems for the viewer. Over the course of years and in multiple series of shaped canvases that explore variations on rings, columns, trapezoids, arches, and crosses, he has also provoked viewers to consider the idea of paintings without centers.
Mangold's work challenges the typical connotations of what a painting is or could be, and his works often appear as objects rather than images. Elements refer often to architectural elements or have the feeling of an architect's hands.
In 1967, he won a National Endowment for the Arts grant and in 1969, a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 1971, he had his first solo museum exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum. He has been featured in the Whitney Biennial four times, in 1979, 1983, 1985, and 2004.
His work is in many museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Tate Collection in London.