Robert Mangold was born on October 12, 1937 in North Tonawanda, New York. He first trained at the Cleveland Institute of Art from 1956-1959, and then at Yale University, New Haven, where he received his BFA in 1961, followed by his MFA in 1963. Since the mid-1960s, Mangold’s paintings of geometric forms inscribed on shaped canvases have explored tensions between the depicted and the literal, the interior and the exterior, the conceptual and the visual.
While his palette, scale, supports, and influences have never stopped evolving, he has rigorously adhered to investigating the interplay between the same key elements of area, line, color, and surface structure. At first glance, Mangold’s paintings can appear deceptively simple, yet closer examination reveals irregular geometries, subtle asymmetries, and sophisticated plays of perspective that inspire the viewer to slow down the act of looking and consider the nature of perception. As Mangold has explained, “I want the work to cause me to drop everything and then slowly pick up the pieces and enter into a dialogue with it.”
Following his first solo exhibition in 1971 at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, Mangold’s work has been the subject of numerous single-person exhibitions and retrospectives at institutions including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Akron Art Museum; Hallen für neue Kunst, Schaffhausen, Switzerland; Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College; Hallen für neue Kunst; Museum Wiesbaden; Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art, London; and Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo.
Today, the artist’s works are held in the collections of The Art Institute of Chicago; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; the Museum of Modern Art , New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Tate Collection, London; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; among others.
Robert Mangold lives in Washingtonville, New York with his wife and fellow painter Sylvia Plimack Mangold.