San Francisco

Robert Hudson

Fuller Goldeen Gallery

With his audacious juxtapositions of thrift-shop junk and the polychrome steel structures it dangles from, Robert Hudson epitomizes a particular Northern California penchant for wacky humor. His idiosyncratic constructions have exuberantly embraced an assortment of irregular forms since the mid-’60s. Then, in counterpoint to East Coast Minimalism and as progenitors of the kind of bizarre conglomerations that art historian Peter Selz would term “funk,” Hudson’s free-form assemblages of twisted geometric shapes and distortions of identifiable objects were fabricated entirely out of steel and painted in bold patterns of high-gloss solid colors. By the mid-’70s they incorporated such found items as a beach ball, tree branches, toys, and metallic fringe, and came with punning, tongue-in-cheek titles; the lighthearted play was amusing, yet as evocative works of art these pieces were insubstantial.

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