Robert Amft born painter, sculptor, photographer, designer, Chicago 1916. He died in South Carolina 2012, aged 95. He graduated from the School of the Chicago Art Institute, 1939.
Making art of varying kinds kept him active and productive for close to ninety-six years. Amft did not discriminate between fine and commercial art. Art was his life. Amft displayed in his work a wide spectrum of creative perception, expressed his humor, implemented ideas and concepts; in the artistic exercise he found self-fulfillment, fun, and excitement.
Only now, that his art is final and accessible, can we begin to evaluate, compare and position his work in an art historical context. By retrospectively looking at his complete work , we come to realize how far ahead of his times Amft as a painter, photographer, sculptor, designer had been. Amft was a work-alone American artist, unique, beyond categorization, who never followed art movements, groups, instead, preceded them, or by his inventiveness modified and in many cases redirected the patterns of these varied movements. By his subjective and independent interpretation of art, Amft was an untimely postmodernist among the American avant-gardes of modernism.
He painted large scale portraits when nobody else did. When serious photography was black and white Amft experimented with color, featured abstraction. He used commercial spray paints and stencils when nobody else thought about it. Amft lead the way to Graffiti and Pop Art by decades.
For over 75 years Amft produced a prolific work of paintings, sculptures, photographs, and graphic designs, winning numerous rewards and first prizes. Amft's versatility is bewildering, his work widespread, from abstract to figurative, from outsider to classic, from appropriations, collages to oils, watercolors, acrylics, from brushwork to commercial spray paint, from stencils to intuitive compositions, from photography and graphic design to sculpture.