Professor of Art, Painting
Robert Swain was born on December 7, 1940 in Austin, Texas. He received a BA Degree from the American University in Washington, D.C. in 1964. He has traveled and worked in Central America (1956, 1957), as well as having lived and studied in Europe (1961-62).
Since residing in New York City from 1965, he has had fourteen one-artist exhibitions, including two major museum shows; the first at The Everson Art Museum in Syracuse, New York (1974) and the other at The Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts in Columbus, Ohio (1975-76). In addition, he has shown in over sixty group shows, including The Corcoran Gallery of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum, The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, to name a few of the twenty-one major museums in which he has exhibited. In 1968 he was included in The Corcoran Gallery of Art’s Thirty-First Biennial and again in 1998 for The Corcoran Gallery of Art’s Forty-Fifth Biennial.
Mr. Swain has been the recipient of a grant for painting from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation in 1969, a CAPS Grant (painting), from the State of New York, in 1982, and two Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (painting); the first in 1976, and again in 1989. In February of 1998, The College Art Association awarded Mr. Swain with, “The Distinguished Teaching of Art Award.” Mr. Swain has given numerous Visiting Artist lectures, served on various Fine Art Juries and participated in many panel discussions, such as the Artist’s Panel at The Museum of Modern Art, entitled “Tony Smith: Artists’ Responses” (1998) and “Seeing Red, Part III: Color as an Experience: A Two-Day Symposium on Contemporary Nonobjective Painting and Color Theory”, at the Goethe–Institut Inter Nationes, New York (2003).
In conjunction with these activities, he has done ten major commissions and architectural installations. Among these are paintings commissioned by Skidmore, Owens and Merrill, New York, for the Schering Laboratories in Bloomfield, New Jersey, and another at the direction of the architectural firm of I.M. Pei, New York for Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick, New Jersey. In addition, he completed a major commission for The University of Buffalo, in their Concert Hall, on the North Campus at Amherst, Buffalo, New York, (8’ X 61’).
He is represented in over 284 private and public collections, including The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, The Detroit Institute of Art, The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, The Milwaukee Art Center, The Everson Art Museum, The Denver Art Museum, The Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.