At first glance, Robert Ransom’s paintings may show the viewer a backyard barbecue or a roadside diner; the characters seem comical and somewhat blocky, each straight-legged female figure appears only slightly less awkward than her stocky, male counterpart. But upon closer evaluation, the work reveals its complexities in process and construction. Ransom’s scenes convey a simplicity of subject and form that is successful in making the viewer believe that painting is easy. But Ransom’s paintings are not easy. Each canvas is layered with coats of paint before the actual painting ever begins. White gesso, black and yellow layers; dark against light; quartered zones; varnish. This time-consuming process may limit his paintings in number, but they have also released him from the confines of mass-production, unlike the pop artists his work is so often compared to.
But Robert Ransom is an American pop artist. Like Warhol, and Lichtenstein, Ransom completely defines himself through his Americana imagery. Through the process of combining pop art and art deco imagery he melds the two periods of time together. Much of what Ransom communicates revolves around the pastimes of the American dream. These outdoor, bucolic activities are an elementary part of his work. The paintings he deals with are primarily concerned with movement. This on-the-go movement is seen in all of the figures in his work-each figure is in fact going somewhere or doing something. Ransom sets himself apart through his stylized characters: the cubical women and men also seem to relate to the work of the WPA artists. Although much of his work resembles the Chicago pop art of the 1960’s, he puts himself in a unique place by creating imagery that is exclusively his.
“Images on the internet do not begin to do justice to the deep lustrous brilliance of Robert Ransom paintings. His figurative oil paintings combine pure intense color with simple forms that tend to revolve around two or three figures whom faces seemingly display whatever emotion you choose to give them.
He began developing this unique style of painting while attending Northern Arizona University as he earned a Master’s degree. Exhibitions of his work soon followed.
Ransom’s use of the forced perspective drawing technique captures the essence of the subjects through sheer intensity of form. He creates a powerful boldness and depth by applying the paint in precisely disciplined layers.
Robert Ransom is widely considered one of the great pop artists. The American Iconography utilized in his work is greatly influenced by The American Dream. Indisputably, Ransom’s appreciation and interpretation of the West is the dominating theme of his work.
I consider Ransom to be the Andy Warhol of the American Pastime.” – Mark Pascal, Curator of the Chicago Art Institute.
Ransom has exhibited works throughout the United States. Selected exhibitions include: Kneeland Gallery, Sun Valley, Idaho; The Jewish Museum, San Francisco; Adam Whitney Gallery, Omaha, Nebraska; Jordan Road Gallery, Sedona, Arizona; RiverStone Gallery, Big Sky, Montana; Vickers Gallery, Aspen, Colorado; Due West Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico; Modernism Show, Los Angeles, California, and John Natsoulas Gallery, Davis, California.
- March 2019 Painting in the 21srt Century University of California, Davis
- Feburary 2019 Los Angeles Art Expo
- March 2018 Painting in the 21srt Century University of California, Davis
- February 2018 Ramey Fine Arts, Palm Desert, California
- March 2017 PBA Auction for the Arts, Big Sky, Montana
- March 2016 Auction for the Arts, Big Sky, Montana
- June 2015 Creighton-Block Gallery, Big Sky, Montana
- March 2015 Bark Show, John Natsoulas, Davis California
- January 2015 Holly Burgman Gallery, Scottsdale Arizona
- February 2015 L.A. Modernism Show, Los Angeles, California
- June 2014 Bark for the Arts, Santa Fe Springs, California
- June 2014 Due West Gallery, Sante Fe, New Mexico
- March 2014 Ramey Fine Arts, Palm Desert, California
- February 2014 Painting in the 21st Century, University of California, Davis.
- March 2013 Mura, City of Davis, California
- September 2012 Due West Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
- November 2011 John Natsoulas Gallery, Davis, California
- July 2010 Acquisition, Sacramento Arts Commission
- January 2010 Vickers Gallery, Aspen, Colorado
- September 2003 John Natsoulas Gallery, Davis, California
- February 2003 Arte Gallery, Palm Springs, California
- April 2002 Gallery Blu, Palm Springs, California
- May 2000 RiverStone Gallery, Big Sky, Montana
- October 1999 Gallery Blu, Palm Springs, California
- March 1999 Jordan Road Gallery, Sedona, Arizona
- August 1998 California State Fair Western competition, Best of Show
- October 1997 Jewish Museum, San Francisco, California
- May 1996 Adam Whitney Gallery, Omaha, Nebraska
- December 1995 Boise Art Museum, Boise, Idaho
- November 1995 The Jewish Museum, San Francisco Light Interpretations
- August 1995 SPCA Benefit John Natsoulas Gallery, California
- June 1995 Conejo Valley Art Museum, California
- November 1994 Kneeland Gallery, Sun Valley, Idaho