Robert Arneson

Robert Arneson  1930-1992


Robert Arneson was an American Artist and Sculptor born and raised in Benicia, California. From a very young age Arneson was encouraged by his father to draw.

Early in Robert Arnesons life he became a draftsmen where he drew cartoons for the local newspaper as a teenager. Arneson studied Art education at the college of Arts and Crafts in Oakland CA. Also he taught at a local high school where he became interested in ceramics. He received his MFA from Mills College in 1958. In 1962 Arneson became head of ceramics at University of California at Davis. Then in 1973 he became full professor of art.


Arneson was heavily influenced by the expressionist work of Peter Voulkos. His influence caused Arneson to be more adventurous and to break through sculptural boundaries. He began building fictional pieces and self portraits using photographs , mirrors, and drawings. Arneson became a part of a group of California pop artist whose work has become known as Funk Art. Robert Arneson later became ill with liver cancer in the early 1980’s and died in 1992.


Robert Arneson was often quoted saying, I want to make high art that is funny, outrageous and also reveals the human condition, which is not always high.”

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