Robert Pruitt

b. 1975

Born in Houston, Texas in 1975; Lives and works in New York, New York

That sense of the unnatural, the super, the extra-human possibility—I want that to be part of my practice as a way to describe what we could be. — Robert Pruitt



Ad Infinitum
Salon 94 Freemans

Robert Pruitt

Group Show

Portraiture: A Private Room


Robert Pruitt was born in 1975 in Houston Texas. He received his BFA from Texas Southern University (2000) and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin (2003). Robert Pruitt works in a variety of materials, with the focus of his practice centered on rendering large scale figurative portraits. He projects into those images a juxtaposing series of experiences and material references, denoting a diverse and radical Black past, present, and future. Pruitt often utilizes religion, spirituality, signs, and symbolic objects throughout his work as a means of exploring a Black American conception of transcendence and mythology.

He has had solo exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, TX; The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY; The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, PA; Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN; most recently at the California African American Museum, Los Angeles, CA and the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, MA. Pruitt was a participating artist in the 2006 Whitney Biennial and is a winner of the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation award and Joan Mitchell Foundation award.

Pruitt’s work resides in the permanent collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Studio Museum of Harlem, New York; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA; the Dallas Museum of Art, TX; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC; and The US Embassy in Zimbabwe.


Artists of Color Reflect on Own Identities in "Portraiture: A Private Room"
Gabrielle Leung


Revolutionary African-American men Men of Change: Power, Triumph, Truth
Alec Clayton

The Volcano Weekly

The Potent Realism of Robert Pruitt’s Black Portraiture
Daniel Gerwin


5 artists tell us the hardships—and benefits—of creating in isolation
Ann Binlot

Document Journal