ROBERT W.H. MCCOY

I spent my formative years in Santa Fe, New Mexico in the 1950’s. That gave me an appreciation for both Native American and Hispanic cultures, and exposure to their works of art. My two best friends were Navajos whose families lived at the Indian School. As a kid, I was always drawing with whatever materials were available. At age twelve, we moved to San Antonio, Texas where I began studying painting with Warren Hunter, a noted artist and illustrator.

 

After serving in the Air Force during Vietnam, I continued studying painting at the University of Houston, receiving a BFA degree in 1974. Upon completion, I was accepted for graduate work at the University of New Mexico, the University of Arizona, and Southern Methodist University. I was also given the opportunity to live and teach in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico for a year, which I chose. That gave me exposure to the original paintings and murals by famous Mexican artists, and life within a different culture. At the end of the year, I was given the same opportunity to live and teach in Rome, Italy. I traveled by freighter, which took several weeks to unload cargo at different ports. Those experiences were unique and had a profound influence on my work. After returning to Texas, I was accepted in the graduate program at the University of Houston, and received a MFA degree in 1981.  

ARTIST STATEMENT:

"Over the years I have explored a variety of subjects and used different methods and materials to illustrate my ideas. It has been an experimental process to determine my path.  I've found that using still life as a platform is the best way to express myself. Realism is my preference for illustrating those ideas.

 

Western subjects have become my focus. This coincides with family experiences and research which has put me back in touch with my roots. Although I've traveled extensively, I've spent most of my life between Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico. Those years have filled me with a love for the West, and have helped to shape my vision. There is an honesty about this subject, and being from early pioneer families legitimizes my involvement. These are the places where stories originated and where the ruins remain. I continually return to these areas to feel inspired and rejuvenated. Adding to that resource is a library of books and movies that have influenced me personally, and our culture as a whole.

 

I am a "realist". One art critic described me as a "hyper realist". That process takes time because of the steps involved. I'm more concerned with producing works that reflect thought and quality rather than quantity. In addition, I'll use professional grade oils for purity and strength, along with custom stretchers or panels made for maximum stability. I prepare each surface by hand to obtain the feel I like, and in the final stages, will apply glazes to add luminosity and shadows. It is also important that I work from life rather than from photographs. As a result, I will continually search for and collect vintage or antique items that can be used for my subjects."

EDUCATION

1981             MFA University of Houston
1974            BFA University of Houston

1965 -66     Lon Morris College, Jacksonville, TX, Scholarship (Acting)

SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

  • Valero Energy Corporation

  • Reliant Energy Corporation, formerly Houston Industries Inc.

  • Ultramar Diamond Shamrock

  • Enron

  • Schreiner University

  • Texas Brangus Breeders Association

  • Highland Coors

  • Vinson and Elkins Law Firm

  • M-Bank

  • University of Houston, College of Business

  • Bracewell and Patterson Law Firm

  • USAA

  • The Houstonian Estates

  • Winstead, McGuire, Secrest and Minck Law Firm

  • Numerous Private Collections

ONE/TWO PERSON EXHIBITIONS

  • Robert McCoy/Anne Moore, Two Person Exhibit., Harris Gallery, Houston, TX

  • Myla Bertinot/Robert McCoy, Williams Tower, Houston, TX,

    • Curated by Sally Sprout

  • “Remembrances”, Harris Gallery, Houston, TX

  • “Transitional Realities” Harris Gallery, Houston, TX

  • “Robert McCoy, Works from 1976-1996”, Aviart Gallery, San Antonio, TX

  • “Robert McCoy Paintings”, Harris Gallery, Houston, TX

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Rice University, Houston, TX, Visiting Lecturer

Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Dean of Faculty

Bennington College, Bennington, VT, Summer Faculty

University of Houston, Houston, TX, Teaching Fellow

San Jacinto College, Houston, TX

New Orleans Academy of Art, New Orleans, LA

Private Instructor, Rome, Italy

Private Instructor, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

  • “Frivolity and Mortality: The Tradition of Vanitas in Contemporary Painting”, Sherry French Gallery, New York, NY

    • Traveled to:

      • Silvermine Guild, New Canaan, CT

      • Noyes Museum of Art, Stockton University, Oceanville, NJ

      • Utah Museum of Fine Art, Salt Lake City, UT

      • Triton Museum, Santa Clara, CA

      • Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, TN

      • Valparaiso University Museum of Art, Valparaiso, IN

      • Tyler Art Gallery, Oswego, NY

      • Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY

      • Oklahoma Arts Center, Oklahoma City, OK

  • “Fresh Paint: The Houston School” Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Curated by Barbara Rose, Traveled to: PS1 New York, NY

  • “Contemporary Art: The Big Picture”, Karan Ruhlen Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

  • “The Life of Inanimate Objects” Karan Ruhlen Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

  • International Exhibition of Texas Artists, Conference of the Association of College Unions, Houston, TX

  • “Contemporary Realities” Karan Ruhlen Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

  • “Selections 1986” Dishman Gallery, Lamar University, Beumont, TX

  • “Emerging Realists: East Meets South”, College of the Mainland, Texas City, TX

  • “The Life of Inanimate Objects” Karan Ruhlen Gallery, Santa Fe, NM “Cultural Influence”, Karan Ruhlen Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

  • “The Anatomy of Drawing”, Hooks Epstein Gallery, Houston, TX

  • “5th Year Anniversary Show”, Texas Treasures Fine Art Gallery, Boerne, TX

  • “Texas Aesthetic X”, William Reaves/Sarah Foltz Fine Art Gallery, Houston TX

  • Numerous Faculty Exhibitions

Robert Winter Hughes McCoy, born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, 1946

My mother's family arrived in Colorado Springs during the 1870's by taking a cutoff from the Oregon Trail. Some of their possessions from that trip are in the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum. My great grandfather started a dairy farm on land that is now part of Colorado College, and two of his sons started the Ox-Bow cattle ranch between Pueblo and Walsenburg.

 

My father's family were Scottish farmers who arrived in North Carolina in the mid 1700's due to the Highland Clearances. My fourth great grandfather, John McCoy, fought in the Revolution. After the war, the family gradually migrated west, and arrived in Colorado Springs during the 1880's.

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