Publication Year: 2014
Published by: University of Pittsburgh Press
Title Page, Copyright
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I grew up in the Monongahela Valley cities of McKeesport and Clairton at a time that now seems as remote to me as that of the great pyramids of Egypt. Rushing home from elementary school to listen to the fifteen-minute radio programs called serials, like Terry and the Pirates and Jack Armstrong. Gritty, shiny specks of stuff from the...
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Robert Qualters is an artist not to be ignored. He is well known and appreciated in the city of Pittsburgh, and his work is included in the Carnegie Museum of Art and many other important public and private collections. When I first became aware of his work soon after I moved to Pittsburgh in the early 1980s, it was easy to place him into the category of western Pennsylvania...
The Making of a Painting
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At age seventy-seven, Robert Qualters worked on a large-scale, autobiographical painting, which he titled A Life (2012). It has his typical stylistic qualities—vibrant color, lively brushstrokes, the incorporation of the frame into the work, and the use of the grid—but it is unusual in that the rendering is sketchy, not fully realized. Familiar content includes recognizable places as sites for memories, sex and the body, nature...
The Education of the Artist
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Curiosity, which Robert Qualters possesses in abundance, fuels interest and learning. Even Albert Einstein described himself as having “no special talent,” only a passion for questioning. Qualters shares that love, continually seeking out new ideas and things and looking at life in new ways. It is the process of looking out at the world around him and looking in at himself that characterizes...
Looking Out, Looking In
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In a cursory look at the work of Robert Qualters, you will see a visual history of Pittsburgh sites: the bridges and neighborhoods, Kennywood and the Carnegie Museum of Art, the now demolished Jenkins Arcade and Forbes Field. Viewers love identifying these places and filling them with nostalgic...
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Robert Qualters joins a long line of artists who have produced a series of self-portraits, including Rembrandt and Van Gogh, who both painted themselves throughout their lives, and artists ranging from Albrecht Dürer to Cindy Sherman and Yasumasa Morimura, who have created self-portraits based not on a physical likeness but on characteristics, traits, and/or desires...
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Our current definitions of art and the artist are relatively new, replacing ideas still in place in many cultures that think of the artisan and art as being in the service of a greater goal. First and foremost, we now demand creativity and talent from artists, but we also value a unique individual with an easily recognizable style. These concepts and values...
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A recurring theme in the work of Robert Qualters is the concept of the artist simultaneously looking out and looking in. This theme continues to exhibit itself in his work, as he observes life in the city of Pittsburgh while thinking about his own life, his own experiences, and his own memories. Integrating the looking out and the looking in, with knowledge gained...
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Page Count: 232
Illustrations: 88 color, 15 b&w
Publication Year: 2014