Robert Thiele: 8-Four-9
October 8, 2010 - November 13, 2010
Reception: October 8, 2010
Kohen situates Thiele in the broader development of the visual art scene in Miami from the late 1940s to the 1970s.
Robert Thiele: 8-Four-9
Dorsch Gallery presents an intimate exhibition of Robert Thiele’s new works, all made within the last year. The exhibition, called 8-Four-9, will coincide with the launch of an exhibition catalog of the artist’s 30-year survey, which filled the entire gallery last year. Published by Dorsch Gallery Press, the catalog includes documentation of the works in the survey show, installation images, and essays by Peter Boswell, curator at Miami Art Museum, and Helen Kohen, former art critic for the Miami Herald and current art historian in charge of the Vasari Project, an archive of Miami’s art history.
The essays in the catalog consider Thiele’s importance to a community’s art history and also offer a serious address to his work. Boswell provides an art historian’s detailed analysis of the work. He compares the works to Clyfford Still, Christian Boltanski, and Susan Rothenberg. He summarizes and cites previous descriptions of Thiele’s work, noting the prevalence of descriptors like “totemic” and “monolithic.” Boswell notes, agreeing with his predecessors, that his work is keenly felt and experienced but is appealingly hard to articulate.
Kohen situates Thiele in the broader development of the visual art scene in Miami from the late 1940s to the 1970s. Thiele came to Miami in the 1960s, after earning a Bachelors and Masters in Art from Kent State University in Ohio, playing professional football, and being drafted into the armed services during the Vietnam War. He came to Miami at the request of Patrick DeLong to teach art at Miami Dade College. Over the next thirty years, he took part in Miami’s art scene as a practicing artist. As an educator, he shaped the perspectives of countless art students. Thiele was instrumental in forming the beginnings of the College’s art collection, acquiring works by the likes of Joseph Beuys before most had caught on to that artist’s importance. The acquisition was fortuitous for the college, certainly; it also shows the nature of the ideas he brought to Miami at that time, and continues to bring to this day.
About Robert Thiele
Thiele began exhibiting in the early 1970s. He participated in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Biennial Exhibition in 1975. He and Salvatore La Rosa were the first South Florida artists to be included in this national biennial exhibition. He has been awarded Florida’s Individual Artist Fellowship three times. His numerous solo and group exhibitions include many in public institutions. Among these are the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL; Musee Cantini, Marseilles, France; Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; and Sculpture Center, NY. The distinguished critics and curators who have written essays on his work include Peter Frank, Paula Harper, Michael Kimmelman, Mark Ormond, Carter Ratcliff, and Robert J. Sindelir. Thiele divides his time between studios in Miami, Florida and New York since moving into the Brooklyn waterfront neighborhood DUMBO in 1990. Most recently, his work was on view in New Work Miami 2010 at Miami Art Museum.