Robert Bauer’s realist portraits are most often of family and friends and are noted for their sensitive and introspective portrayals. There is a palpable sense of life in each of these intimate works, stemming from Bauer’s lengthy painting process and keen attention to subtle detail. These contemplative and pensive faces are drawn directly from the subject as well as from pencil studies and photographs. Themes of chance, choice and control are deeply a part of the artist’s work.
Robert Bauer was born in Iowa in 1942, and studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. Work shown in the Academy’s “1967 Annual Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture” led to his inclusion in the show “Four Young Realists” at Kenmore Galleries, Philadelphia. In 1969, Mr. Bauer’s work was featured in the “33rd Mid-Year Annual” at the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH. Following a number of solo and group exhibitions, his work attracted the attention of New York dealer Allan Stone, who collected and exhibited his paintings in the early 1980s.
Mr. Bauer’s work was selected for inclusion in the Janss Collection of American Realism, and was exhibited in that collection at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1985, a show which later travelled to other museums throughout the United States. He moved to Boston in 1985 and began to exhibit there at the Thomas Segal Gallery the following year. His work was first shown by Forum Gallery, New York in a group landscape exhibition in 1990.
Since joining Forum Gallery, Robert Bauer’s work has been exhibited in the Pratt Institute’s Manhattan Gallery, the “1996-1997 Best of the Season” exhibition at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, CT, and the “Invitational Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture” at the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, in 1997. Portrait paintings were shown in “New Old Masters,” Naples Art Museum, Naples, FL, in 2005 and in the inaugural portrait exhibition at the new National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC in 2006. In 2009 his work was included in “Enchantment: The Sixth International Distinguished Artist Symposium & Exhibition” at the Joseloff Gallery, University of Hartford, CT.
Robert Bauer is the recipient of three Massachusetts Cultural Council grants, two Pollock-Krasner Foundation grants in Painting (1998 and 2014), and he was a finalist in the 2006 Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. Bauer’s work is represented in public and private collections throughout the United States, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, AR; and the Janss Collection of American Realism, Boise Art Museum, Boise, ID.