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Robbie Conal: No Spitting No Kidding


Contact: Susan Martin
Images available upon request

Robbie Conal: No Spitting No Kidding

October 18 — November 22, 2008
Opening reception Saturday, October 18, from 6-9 PM

His [Conal] art is outrageous, unsparing, and constitutes a welcome offering to the struggles of Americans against war and injustice . . . his art is therefore to be celebrated by all who see the marriage of art and politics as playing a vital role in the movement toward a just society—Howard Zinn

My paintings are intended as satirical counter-infotainment. If they tickle people into thinking along with me about social and political issues, I’m a happy man.
—Robbie Conal

5 August, 2008, Santa Monica––In celebration of Robbie Conal’s career as both artist and activist, Track 16 Gallery is pleased to present, "NO SPITTING NO KIDDING" a monumental retrospective of his work. The exhibition opens on Saturday, October 18, just prior to this year’s all-important Presidential election. The opening reception is on October 18, from 6 to 9 P.M., and the show runs through Saturday, November 22. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from 11 to 6 P.M.

This extensive survey dating from the 1970s through the present traces Conal’s evolution as one of the more important artists and political commentators of our time. He has consistently confronted us with his political fervor, his unrelenting desire to express and dissent, and his biting humor.

The entire gallery space will be filled with Conal’s work. From his early turbulent, ghostly figure paintings based on a baseball pitcher’s throwing motion to the charcoal-on-canvas drawings and oil paintings made for his signature posters, the show brings his work into a gallery setting juxtaposing works found plastered on construction site walls, traffic light switching boxes, freeway underpasses and bus shelters with refined paintings that pack a visual and political punch. Featuring paintings—including his magnum opus: a series of seven large satirical history paintings chronicling the ironic intersection of politics and popular culture over five decades— and drawings culled from museums, private collections from around the US and Robbie’s personal archive, this exhibition is the most comprehensive Conal survey ever presented to the public.

Conal received an MFA degree from Stanford University in 1978. He taught painting and drawing at the University of Southern California’s Roski School of Fine Arts for 12 years.

He was a participant in the www.droppingknowledge.org “Table of Free Voices” event in East Berlin on Sept. 9th, 2006. His postering raids have been featured in major newspapers: the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post and national periodicals: Time, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, People, Interview, BOMB. I.D., Print, Beautiful/Decay, as well as CBS’s This Morning, Charlie Rose, The Bill Maher Show, Life & Times on KCET and MTV News. He was the subject of the 1992 documentary, Post No Bills. He has also written two books, Art Attack: The Midnight Politics Of A Guerrilla Artist and ARTBURN, a collection of his work published in the alternative newspaper L.A.Weekly. Conal will be included in the portfolio Line Drive, published by Hamilton Press in October, 2008. This limited edition portfolio of 13 hand pulled lithographs celebrates the participating artists’ love of baseball; artists include R.B. Kitaj, Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari, Michael C. McMillen, and Raymond Pettibon among others. Conal has been awarded grants by the National Endowment for the Arts, The City of Los Angeles (“COLA” grant), and the Getty Trust. He lives and works in Mar Vista, CA. For more information visit our website at archive.track16.com.