Grant Recipients Roy Lichtenstein Award Visual Arts 2019

Andy Robert

Black and white photograph of Andy Robert dressed in a cap and small circular glasses.
Photo courtesy of the artist.
  • 2019 Roy Lichtenstein Award
  • Visual Arts
  • Painter
  • Born 1984, Les Cayes, Haiti
  • Lives in Brooklyn, NY
  • Additional Information

The FCA Roy Lichtenstein grant of $40,000 came as a surprise, December 2018, and has been invaluable to the realization of forthcoming exhibitions. The grant has allotted me the time needed to focus on and realize ideas and came at such a pivotal moment critical to my development as an artist, painter, and thinker... I am grateful as the support has aided me tremendously. And has afforded me the time, means, material, and books to focus in and truly realize my work. I have made travel plans to work remotely (away from the studio) in Haiti, Detroit, and Cape Town in building toward forthcoming shows; as well as being able to move into and work in a proper painting studio with better ventilation, windows, light, and air suitable for painting. The support and recognition of the Foundation has enabled me an adequate studio environment—a space to think, of solace and study and work in Brooklyn that is conducive to experimentation, a deeply contemplative and at times private practice. My paintings range in scale [and] the new studio space has allowed me to work multiple canvases on and off the wall and on the floor, and also on smaller works simultaneously. And, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, I further express my deepest gratitude.

- Andy Robert, July 29, 2020

Artist Statement

I'm engaged in a deeply personal and experimental approach with my materials, and want my paintings to feel like sketches—quick with the immediacy and intimacy of a rough draft, but thought out in terms of their scale, detail, and consideration. As with a thumbnail, my intuitive beginning impulses, gestural marks of adding and removing of paint and line, are preserved and valued when a painting is to approach its finish, its resolve.

When in the studio, I allow things to permeate. I draw from both observation and various source materials. I am critically reflecting on a mass inequality of wealth and power, on economic debt as linked invariably to a "maroonage," a marginalization, and autonomy—a making due, a brokenness of being.

My approach to painting negotiates both how a contemporary image is made, understood, and seen: its contextualization. Images come against the body. And, in rendered layers and variations in finish, surface, texture, and detail, I emphasize this friction. In the breaking of the picture plane, deconstructive and colliding shifts in perspective, time, and space, a melding of simultaneity—the past, present, and future­—an opaque sense of the infinite and sublime, of terror and vulnerability, is felt.

- December 2018


Andy Robert is a painter who balances abstraction with recognizable imagery, and enjoys the experimentation and tinkering that comes with painting pictures. His work relies on the idea that images are to be bent and folded, taken apart and put back together again; a belief that art is a philosophical means to look at and examine things—to question, test ideas, and engage with the world. And that in painting a picture something is being taken apart to put back together; there is an inherent risk in breaking it. As a Haitian-American immigrant and painter, Robert views the world critically as a contradiction of mass-communication and increased voicelessness.

Robert's work has been exhibited in Los Angeles at Blum & Poe, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, and Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery; domestically at the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC and the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; and internationally at the Bienal de las Fronteras at the Instituto Tamaulipeco para la Cultura y las Artes, Tamaulipas, Mexico; and at the Paris Avant Premiere, Paris, France. His 2017 solo exhibition LAKOU: ONE TWO FIVE was presented at Hannah Hoffman Gallery, Los Angeles.

He is the recipient of a California Community Foundation Fellowship Award for Visual Arts Grant, a Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant, and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Artadia Awards (2018) and the William H. Johnson Prize (2017). Robert holds an M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts, and also attended the Whitney Independent Study Program, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and the Studio Museum in Harlem Artist in Residency Program.

Three abstract paintings of white and brown colors hang next to each other depicting a panoramic view of silhouette walking near water and trees.

Higher Ground: Soon, Higher Ground: Past Present, and Higher Ground: Here, 2018, oil on canvas, each panel 88” x 74.”

Abstract painting of a brown, black and ochre colored tree on white paint.

Here With You, 2017-18, oil on canvas, 13.5" x 13.5."

Abstract wall length painting of various dots swipes of colors and writing sits in the middle of a red brick wall. To its right a gray electric panel.

Installation view of CHECK II CHECK, at Hannah Hoffman Gallery, Los Angeles, 2017.

A collage of rectangular abstract paintings with blue hues put together on a wall.

Cross Country D, 2017, oil on canvas, 138.5" x 121."

Abstract painting of flowers with a blue and purple theme.

Harlem Sings the Blues, 2017, oil on canvas, 48" x 36."

Abstract painting of a vase full of flowers in colors of white and pink on deep blue and green background.

Death of Aiyana (Aiyana Mo'Nay Stanley-Jones Flower Arrangement), 2015, oil on canvas, 72" x 60."

Painting of a figure with their back to the viewer dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and short standing in front of a cashier stand.

Western Union: Bless Their Little Hearts, 2015, oil on canvas, 48" x 120."