Born: East Aurora, N.Y., U.S.
Born and based for her entire life in East Aurora, New York, Agnes Robertson did not begin painting until she was forty-eight years old. Little is known about her private life. Starting in 1959 she spent nine summers in Woodstock, New York, taking art classes sponsored by the New York Art Students’ League under the direction of painter Arnold Blanch, whom she saw as a kindred spirit.
Robertson’s surreal, dreamlike paintings of strange-looking people, human-animal hybrids, characters from mythology, and other fanciful creations are instantly recognizable as her work. Often mistaken as childlike or naïve, they frequently explore dark subjects, albeit with characteristic humor. While she did not consciously align herself with earlier artists or schools, she did cite painters Georges Rouault and Marc Chagall as inspirations.
Robertson’s work has been seen in group and solo shows and posthumous retrospectives in galleries throughout New York including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Burchfield Penney Art Center, and More-Rubin Gallery in Buffalo; Meibohm Fine Arts in East Aurora; the Kenan Center in Lockport, New York; Artpark in Lewiston, New York; Marine Midland Annuals in Niagara Falls , New York; and Chautauqua Art Association Gallery in Chautauqua, New York. Her works have also been featured nationally at the Folger Shakespeare Library Gallery in Washington, D.C, galleries in New Jersey and Florida, as well as internationally in Germany, and a “Sister City” exhibition in Kanazawa, Japan.