Country Club






Robbie conal: The Missing Link

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Robbie Conal



Robbie Conal: The Missing Link

Country Club is pleased to present The Missing Link, a survey of paintings and drawings by seminal Los Angeles-based artist and political activist Robbie Conal. Curated by Julie Miyoshi, the exhibit highlights Conal’s twenty-five year arc as painter and political provocateur, including his legendary and widely influential paintings-cum-political posters Contra Cocaine (1988), Freedom From Choice (1992), and Little White Lies (1996). In addition to the politically charged paintings and drawings made for his infamous guerrilla poster campaigns, the exhibit will draw upon Conal’s lifelong love of baseball, and will include more recent works depicting skeletal figures playing America’s pastime. Also on exhibit will be a grouping of smaller scale skull and text paintings from a new series entitled Knuckleheads. For the past fifteen years, Conal has also focused on a body of work he calls “decade” paintings – painstakingly detailed large scale works satirizing American political and cultural history from the past six decades. The Missing Link will feature Conal’s decade painting, The Clintons Decade (the 90’s).

The totality of Conal’s art practice occupies a unique and important position in Los Angeles contemporary art history. During the 1980s in Los Angeles, Conal developed an iconic, satirical portrait painting style combined with succinct, punning text to express his concerns about abuses of power by politicians, bureaucrats, and corporate power brokers, among others. Conal’s public, guerrilla poster campaigns during this period were legendary. In 1986, he rendered his paintings of Ronald Reagan and cabinet members Donald Regan, Caspar Weinberger and James Baker into a poster series entitled Men With No Lips. In 1987, he followed up with Women With Teeth featuring Nancy Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Jeane Kirkpatrick and Joan Rivers. In 1988, Robbie and his volunteer postering crews disseminated his most infamous portrait of Ronald Reagan, entitled Contra Diction – a notorious image, which along with Contra Cocaine, have become recognized all over the world as defining images of 1980s American politics. Conal’s career has been fueled by his prescient perception of the larger socio-political matrix and his acerbic, razor’s edge perspective on the interaction of politics, popular culture and art history. After receiving his MFA from Stanford in 1978, his mentor Leon Golub suggested Conal “point his finger directly at the culprit.” Conal’s interpretation of Golub’s advice was the catalyst for a thirty year campaign of installing unsanctioned posters of his galvanizing political imagery throughout city streets – inspiring an entire generation of younger artists to follow suit, including artists such as Shepard Fairey, among others.

Conal has exhibited internationally, including the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles and Art Catalogues at Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Conal has been featured in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, People, Interview, BOMB, CBS’ This Morning, Charlie Rose, The Bill Maher Show, and MTV News. He was the subject of the 1992 documentary Post No Bills. Conal received an MFA from Stanford University, and has been awarded grants by the National Endowment for the Arts, The City of Los Angeles, and the Getty Trust.

Concurrent with his exhibit at Country Club, Conal will be included in the upcoming MOCA Los Angeles exhibit, The Artist’s Museum, opening October 31st.
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Conal will also host a discussion about his practice at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Art Catalogues) on November 8. On view will be the entire collection of Conal’s political posters.
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For additional information please contact:
t +1 513 792 9744

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