The Program in Visual Arts presents “Beneath the Surface,” an exhibition of wooden sculptures that engage his long-standing immersion in the history of African American culture, by past Hodder Fellow and visual artist Marc Andre Robinson.


marc andre robinson

Visual artist Marc Andre Robinson. Photo by April McKoy

Brooklyn-based artist Marc Andre Robinson is known for sculptures that engage his long-standing immersion in the history of African American culture. Robinson typically uses direct woodworking techniques to formally and conceptually explore historical themes through a contemporary lens.  Specifically, Robinson considers the legacy of oppression of African Americans and its reverberating effects into the present.  The works on view spring from a question Robinson explores: What are, and what could be the long term effects of sustained threat and violence upon a group of humans.
The wood sculptures presented in Beneath the surface were completed at Princeton in the Visual Arts Building, where Robinson relocated his studio during his Hodder Fellowship year.  These assemblages could be seen as genetic mutations, natural artifacts or creatures; yet the titles Don’t Die Fly and Running Man direct our minds towards a larger project of visualizing models of survival instincts in action.
The Hodder fellowship allowed Robinson to partner with Princeton’s Studio Lab and the Making Center at the New School.  The purpose of this partnership was to learn and implement 3D modeling and printing techniques to enhance his studio practice and embark on a series of new works represented here by One Drop, a 3D printed prototype consisting of hundreds of miniature figures organized in the form of a single teardrop.
This burgeoning sculpture series is a continuation of drawings Robinson made over a decade ago such as Continual Dissipation of Dense Black Being 2005 also included in the exhibit.   The Drawings are largely in response to representations of enslaved people such as the eighteenth-century abolitionist drawing of the Brooks slave ship, that was of the most important infographics in the history of western civilization.
Originally from Los Angeles, Robinson has exhibited at the Studio Museum in Harlem,  New Museum, Museum of Art and Design, Contemporary Museum in Baltimore and the Galleria d’Arte Moderna in Torino.  His work has been featured in Art Forum, Art News, New York Times and other international publications.  His Awards include the 2017-18 Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University and the Art Matters Artist Grant.  He has participated as an Artist in Residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem, Whitney ISP, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and Rocktowa in Kingston, Jamaica.  Robinson currently lives and works in Brooklyn and is a professor at Parsons School of Design and Cooper Union.

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Presented By

  • Program in Visual Arts