Robert Lostutter

Untitled Study (double portrait for Trader), 1996

American, 1939

The metamorphosis and transformation of the human countenance, which forms the foundation of Lostutter’s imagery was inspired in part by a 1970s trip to Mexico where he was fascinated with the tropical birds and flowers he observed.

Adopting a meticulous working method, Lostutter creates mask-like heads with the precision and beauty of a botanical artist. Each watercolor portrait reveals a newly created specimen, a hybrid of human, bird and plant.

This small painting from 1996 is one of three studies for Trader, a much larger work (29” x 37”) that was painted in 1997.

Often linked with the Imagists for his use of personal, fantastic imagery and obsessive attention to craftsmanship, Lostutter has works in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, Brooklyn Museum, New York, and the Smithsonian Museum, Washington D.C.

College Purchase, 1999