Robert Watts • Career History

Robert Watts participated in major art movements of his time, during a career spanning the late 1950s to his death in 1988, from Neo-Dada, Pop Art, to Conceptual and Intermedia. He was an influential founder in the Fluxus movement, a collaborator with highly esteemed artists and composers, and a virtuoso of nontraditional materials.

Born: 1923, Burlington, Iowa, USA

Died: 1988, Martins Creek, Pennsylvania, USA



University of Louisville, B.M.E., 1944

Art Students League, New York, 1948

Columbia University, New York, M.A., Art History, 1951



Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences, Brooklyn, New York 1951–1952

Professor of Art, Douglass College, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1953–1984

Resident Artists in Film and Mixed Media, 1964 –1982

Carnegie Corporation Visual Artists Program, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1968/69.


Individual Exhibitions

1958       Delacorte Gallery, New York.

1960       Objects, Motorized Constructions. Grand Central Moderns, New York.

1962       Constructions, Objects, Events and Games. Grand Central Moderns, New York.

1966       Three Environments and Objects. Bianchini Gallery, New York.

Neons and Objects. Ricke Gallery, Kassel, Germany.

1967       Galleria Christian Stein, Torino, Italy.

1968       Neon: Objekte, Skulpturen. Ricke Gallery, Cologne, Germany.

1970       Neon. Ricke Gallery, Cologne, Germany.

1971       Addendum to Pop. Apple Gallery, New York.

1973       Auto Series (photo murals). La Bertesca, Milan, Italy.

Retrospective exhibition, Galerie Baecker, Bochum, Germany.

1974       Retrospective exhibition, Multhipla, Milan, Italy.

1975       Signatures in Neon: Old and New Masters. Multhipla, Milan, Italy.

1976       New Light on West Africa. René Block Gallery, New York.

1977       Cloud Music. (in collaboration with Bob Diamond and David Behrman) San Francisco Art Institute, California.

Oraculum. Studio Morra, Naples, Italy.

1988       Memorial Exhibition, Downtown Arts Building, Rutgers University, New Jersey.

1989       Silkscreen Editions. Krief Galerie, Paris.

Flux Med: Robert Watts, Obra Grafica 1987. Joan Guaita, Estudi d’art Contemporani, Madrid, Palma, Spain.

1990       Robert Watts, Selected Works 1960–1988. Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Robert Watts, L’Objet Photographique et Autres Oeuvres. Galerie Zabriskie, Paris.

A Tribute to Robert Watts. Leo Castelli Gallery, New York.

1991       Watts Natural: Selected Works by Robert Watts, 1964-1987. Curated by Sid Sachs. Michiko Okaya, Exhibition Director. Lafayette College of Art, Easton, PA

1996       Robert Watts: Artistamps/1961-1986. Stamp Art Gallery, San Francisco, California

1999       Robert Watts: The Invisible Man of Pop and Fluxus, The Museum Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany. Curated by Rene Block and Tobias Berger

2001       Flux Med: Graphic Works by Robert Watts, Bucknell Art Gallery, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA. Curated by Stuart Horodner

Robert Watts: Photography Into Sculpture and other works. Leslie Tonkonow Artworks and Projects, NYC

2006       Robert Watts: Art on Art. Leslie Tonkonow Artworks and Projects, NYC. Curated by Larry Miller

2018       Archivio Conz Presents Robert Watts, Art Basel, Supportico-Lopez Gallery, Berlin