Size: Sound recording: 2 sound cassettes (2 hr.; 8 min.) : analog
Transcript: 61 pages
Format: Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 8 min. Tape 2 (Side A) also contains last part of 4/7/98 interview with Harold Tovish.
Summary: An interview of Robert Cottingham conducted 1998 July 27, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art, in Cottingham's studio, Newtown, Connecticut.
Cottingham speaks of being raised in Brooklyn; drawing from an early age; the New York World's Fair, 1939-1940, and the tremendous impact it had on him, as did buildings, signs, and great bustle of Times Square; lasting impact of Edward Hopper's "Sunday Morning," which he saw at the Whitney Museum; his love of using a T-square and triangle in industrial design courses at Brooklyn Technical High School and the influence on his work; working in a Manhattan advertising agency for 2 1/2 years; army service in Orleans, France as a mapmaker; working as an art director at Young and Rubicam advertising agency in Manhattan (1959-1964) which exposed him to great variety of print and graphic media; work in Young and Rubicam's Los Angeles office; first painting in NYC in 1963; painting steadily in L.A. which led to first shows (1968-1970) at Molly Barnes Gallery; use of photographs and sketches to produce paintings; avoidance of narrative, just suggestions of places, and incorporation of advertising signs beginning in the mid-1960s; living entirely on his paintings by 1970; breakthrough in 1969 to greater use of color, bolder design, and 3-D illusion; adoption of square format and depiction of fragmentary glimpses of things which led to leap of quality; and sticking with this mode ever since. Cottingham also recalls John Rawlings, Emerson Woelffer, Robert Irwin, Chuck and Leslie Close, and others.