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Robert Ernst Marx

Robert Ernst Marx

(b. 1925)

Taken from: 

The people I draw, paint and sculpt personify the human condition. They are also the people we see around us, every day.

I have favorite themes. I am troubled by

  • the arrogance of power
  • the exclusivity of the institutions of church and state
  • the abuse of and by both spouse and child, and
  • our own and others’ personal fears and insecurities.
  • We are also to some degree trapped by the conventions we have chosen to impose upon ourselves.
  • While painful to express, these themes desperately need expression, and I have done it by creating my own visual language while building upon the inventions of my artistic ancestors. For example, Picasso was the first to paint a dismembered human body to convey a sense of futility. I also use symbols: mannequins, masks, and dangling limbs on puppet strings, as my visual “shorthand” for the controlling forces which frustrate us all.

I work not only for myself, but also to make a connection with you. I do so as elegantly as I can and with an ambiguity that invites you to join your interpretation with my own.

If I am successful, my people will now make eye contact with you…and our dialogue will begin.

—Robert Ernst Marx



  • Northeim, Germany, 1925
  • Moved to United States, 1927

Currently Represented by

  • Davidson Galleries, Seattle, WA — Since 1970
  • Main Street Arts, Clifton Springs, NY — Since 2014

Recent One-Man Exhibitions

  • Davidson Gallery, Seattle, WA —2017, 2014, 2011, 2009, 2007, 2004, 2002, 2000
  • Main Street Arts, Clifton Springs, NY — 2016, 2015, 2014
  • Rochester Contemporary Art Center, Rochester NY — 2015
  • Mason Murer Fine Art, Atlanta, GA — 2013, 2010, 2009
  • Spectrum Gallery, Rochester NY — 2012
  • Williams Gallery, Rochester, NY — 2009, 2006
  • Alan Avery Art Company, Atlanta, GA — 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003
  • Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester — 2006
  • Trinity Gallery, Atlanta GA (with Robert Rauschenberg) — 2006, 2005
  • Udinotti Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ — 2005, 2001, 1999, 1998

Complete history of exhibitions: Download full resume


  • Brooklyn Museum of Art
  • Butler Institute of American Art
  • Corcoran Gallery of Art
  • Dallas Museum of Art
  • Hirschhorn Museum of Art, Smithsonian Institution
  • Library of Congress
  • Los Angeles County Museum
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • National Gallery of Art
  • Seattle Art Museum
  • Whitney Museum of Art
  • Rare Book Libraries: Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago
  • Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University
  • Bodleian Library, Oxford University
  • Houghton Library, Harvard University
  • … and more.

Complete list of representation in public collections: Download full resume

Academic Appointments (since 1985)

1990 Distinguished Professor Emeritus, SUNY
1989 Distinguished Professor, SUNY
1985 Fulbright lecturer, Delhi University, New Delhi, India

Guest Artist or Lecturer Positions

Arizona State University, Kansas State University, Ithaca College, Drake University, National Center for the Performing Arts (Bombay, India), Punjab University (Chandigarh, India) Lalit Kala Academie (Madras, India), SUNY Fredonia, Guilford College (Greensboro, NC), SUNY Potsdam, SUNY Albany, Pennsylvania State University, Drake University


University of Illinois M.F.A. 1953 B.F.A. 1951