“Robin Mitchell lives and works in Santa Monica, California. She received both her BFA (1972) and MFA (1974) from the California Institute of the Arts. While an undergraduate student at Cal Arts, she was a member of the Feminist Art Program and worked on the historic Womanhouse Project. She is a recipient of the California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists (2006), the Anonymous Was A Woman Award (1996), a City of Los Angeles Art Grant (1997), and a National Endowment for the Arts Award (1987). In addition to art making, she teaches studio art courses at Santa Monica College and Pasadena City College. Her artwork is represented by the Craig Krull Gallery in Santa Monica.
Mitchell’s work focuses on the act of mark-making to explore how the mark, in its abstract nature, is able to communicate an image and transcend beyond it to suggest themes both tangible and intangible. Her paintings are part of the tradition of work by artists like Agnes Martin, Hilma Af Klimt, Emma Kunz, and Bill Jensen, who underpin abstract representation with spiritual elements. Over the years, Mitchell’s artwork has evolved from formal concerns to embrace a more spiritual imagery alluding to aspects of the natural world and of human nature. Many of her paintings have a strong central image that is reflective of personal identity, both physical and psychological.
Her earlier work often contained the visual theme of a vertical column of bead-like forms, alluding to the spine, a symbol of both inner strength and biological structure. In more recent paintings, this spine-like column has evolved to take on the characteristics of plant forms. Symmetry is an essential aspect of these images. Mitchell makes use of a variety of media including paintings on canvas, drawings and paintings on paper, prints, and sculpture, and produces work in a wide range of sizes from intimate and immediate small works on paper to large paintings on canvas.
Mitchell’s body of work is obsessive, detailed, and physical. These paintings exhibit an almost microscopic investigation of themes that have been explored in earlier work – symmetry, mark-making, gesture, and an organic growth of thought and image.”