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 Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson  (1940 - )

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Lived/Active: Ohio      Known for: figure textile sculpture, mixed media, mural, illustrator

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from Auction House Records.
Circus Watercolor
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from The Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio:
Born 1940 in Columbus, OH; studied at CCAD (cum laude 1960) and OSU; has exhibited extensively in the Midwest and New York, where she participated in a residency program sponsored by the Ohio Arts Council.

Robinson was the first living artist to be the subject of a major Columbus Museum of Art exhibition ("Pages in History: The Art of Aminah Robinson"). Commissioned murals by Robinson are permanently installed in the Columbus Metropolitan Library. Since 1972, she has taught art for the Columbus Department of Recreation and Parks; lives and works in Columbus. Was friend and protege of folk artist Elijah Pierce; bases many of her works on history of the East Side ("Blackberry Patch")where she grew up; interested in documenting the roots of family and neighborhood. Work celebrates Afro-American culture; Robinson describes her 1979 visit to Africa in terms of a "recognition of her roots";. Creates art from found and donated objects such as buttons, shells, mud, cloth, thread, homemade dyes, etc.

Artist, illustrator Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson's art is informed by both her formal and informal education and training. She received her formal art training in the late 50s at the Columbus Art School, now the Columbus College of Art and Design. However she had grown up under the tutelage of her father, who taught her drawing and book-making, and her mother, who taught her such craft traditions as needle and button-work. Robinson has drawn on both artistic sources in her passionate desire to document the history of her community, the people of Poindexter Village. One of the first federally funded housing projects built in the United States, it was, in the early 40s, inhabited by people whose roots were in the south. Thus Poindexter Village was a community that was rich in traditions, legends, and history, much of which found its way into Robinson's art.

Robinson has extended the search for her roots by traveling to Africa (1979), Sapelo Island, Georgia (1983), New York (1989), and most recently Israel (1998), each time creating a vast body of work in its wake.

Although exhibited widely, Robinson had her first comprehensive museum exhibition at this Museum in 1990, which drew together work based on Poindexter Village, African-American history, and her first three journeys. In connection with the exhibition, Robinson gave the Museum four important works created during her trip to Africa: three large drawings and the journal she kept on that trip, written and illustrated on home-made paper and sewn together into a vertical scroll. The artist followed that gift in 1991 and 1993 with two works, a drawing and a heavily button encrusted RagGonNon, the subject of which is her mentor, the folk artist Elijah Pierce.

In 1997, the Museum added the original art-work for Robinson's very popular published book, "A Street Called Home", published by Harcourt Brace & Company and in 1998 a set of ten woodcuts that are conceived to be costume designs for Robinson's imagined multi media magnum opus, "Symphonic Poem".In anticipation of her upcoming (December 2002) retrospective at the Columbus Museum of Art, Robinson is again generously donating several works to the Museum's collection: "A RagGonNon", the prepatory drawings of a published book, two limited edition books and a promised gift.

Biographical update September 2002



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