Robin Utterback (1949-2007)
Utterback was born in the small town of Holton, Kansas, but quickly became an essential thread in the fabric of the burgeoning Houston art scene. A year after graduating, Utterback had his first solo exhibition at Tibor de Nagy Gallery in Houston (later Watson/de Nagy & Co.) and would later go on to exhibit in the New York location of the gallery. In 1978, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston made their first acquisition of Utterback’s work, which marked the beginning of a fruitful relationship between the institution and Utterback. The museum collection holds paintings, numerous works on paper and a suite of etchings by Utterback, and would work with him on various projects. Utterback was the first student in Rice's Bachelor of Fine Arts program. Often in dialogue with other artists, poets, writers and art historians, Utterback continued to explore the depths of artistic possibilities in various media. From the early 1990s through the early 2000s, Utterback collaborated with fellow artists to create energetic prints, paintings and textiles. During a 2004 tenure in Strasbourg, Utterback began a new series of works incorporating images of masks in his collages and paintings. Following Utterback’s death in 2007, Galveston Arts Center curator Clint Willour celebrated Utterback’s life and work with the acclaimed exhibition, Remembering Robin Utterback. The exhibition catalogue featured essays and fond writings by Alison de Lima Greene, William C. Agee, Emily L. Todd, Alexandra L. Irvine and more. The artist’s trust actively works with curators, gallerists and collectors to continue the exhibition and collection of Utterback’s work, demonstrating his life and career as an essential part of Texas art history. Utterback’s work has been exhibited in galleries nationally and in Europe in both solo and group exhibitions. Utterback’s work has been covered in prominent publications such as Art in America, ARTnews, Texas Monthly, Artweek, Houston Chronicle and Houston Press.
1971 Rice University – BA in 1971 and returned as the first student in Rice's Bachelor of Fine Arts program, receiving his B.F.A. in 1974.
1974 Rice University – BFA
1975 Tibor de Nagy Gallery, Houston
1985 Fresh Paint, Houston; MoMa PS1; Oklahoma City
2007 Remembering Robin Utterback, Galveston Arts Center
The Menil Collection, Houston
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
The McNay Art Museum
Private Collections in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Chicago