The Georgia Museum of Art will present the exhibition Jay Robinson: Quarks, Leptons and Peanuts from March 28 through June 21. Organized by William U. Eiland, director of the museum, and Todd Rivers, head preparator, the exhibition will feature the work Robinson has created since a fire destroyed his home and studio in the mid-1990s.
After the fire, Robinson’s work moved in a different direction, and he reinvented himself as an artist, taking inspiration from science. He started studying molecular physics and constellations, moving toward abstraction from a previously realistic approach. Despite the fact that he will turn 100 this year, he continues to create art, painting in the burned studio that he later rebuilt. One painting, an untitled African scene, survived the fire and will be shown in the exhibition.
The Detroit-born artist earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale University in 1937 and later attended Cranbrook Academy of Art, one of the few institutions dedicated to design. There, he studied under Zoltan Sepeshy, Charles Eames and Harry Bertoia, all of whom had a strong influence on Robinson’s methods.
In 1950, he traveled to Africa after being awarded a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Fellowship. The American Academy of Arts and Letters and the National Institute of Arts and Letters purchased seven of his paintings of his travel documentations for presentations and institutions. His painting of Billie Holiday singing, based on a drawing he made of her from life, is in the museum’s collection but has been out on loan in the traveling exhibition The Visual Blues: The Harlem Renaissance.
This is the second exhibition of Robinson’s work at the museum. In 2006, Jay Robinson featured 31 works including sculptures, drawings, oil paintings and mixed-media creations.