Robert Zakanitch working on the edition 'How I love ya, how I love ya' at Tyler Graphics Ltd., Bedford Village, New York, 1981
Gift of Kenneth Tyler 2002
Photographer: Marabeth COHEN-TYLER

Robert Rahway Zakanitch was born in New Jersey in 1935 and studied at the Newark School of Industrial and Fine Arts working as a commercial artist for a New York–based advertising company. After leaving the commercial arts world in the mid 1960s, Zakanitch worked in an Abstract Expressionist style. While he retained some of the spontaneous, gestural qualities of this style, his later work, like that produced at Tyler Graphics, became more representational.

Flowers are a common motif in Zakanitch’s work and between 1979 and 1981 he created several exuberant series with a floral focus. His Paper pulp series of 1981 consists of 23 unique works created by applying pulps and dyes to specially constructed moulds.
Emilie Owens


Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, United States of America

Attends Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts, New Jersey

Commercial artist for D'Arcy Advertising Corporation, New York City, New York

Leaves advertising to paint full-time; works in Abstract Expressionist style

First solo exhibition, at Henri Gallery, Alexandria, Virginia

Included in Annual exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City

Receives Creative Artist Public Service grant

Included in The way of color, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Meets with artists Joyce Kozloff, Robert Kushner and Miriam Schapiro to discuss the issue of decoration in painting

Visiting Artist, Art Institute of Chicago; included in exhibition, About Decoration, at Alessandra Gallery, New York City

Completes screenprint Untitled, published by HKL/Ltd., Boston; Visiting Artist, Art Institute of Chicago

Selected for Venice biennale, Italy; included in travelling exhibition, The Morton G. Neumann Family Collection: selected works, organised by National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Completes prints and unique paper pulp works at Tyler Graphics Ltd., Bedford Village, New York

Solo exhibition, at Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; included in Biennial exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City

Included in exhibitions, Prints from Tyler Graphics, at Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; An international survey of recent painting and sculpture, Museum of Modern Art, New York City

Included in exhibition, American painting now! Painting in the 1980s, Columbus Museum of Art, Georgia

Included in exhibition, An American renaissance: painting and sculpture since 1940, Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Solo exhibition, A view of the workshop: from Tyler Graphics, at Katonah Gallery, New York City

Included in exhibition, The combination print: 1980s, New Jersey Center for the Visual Arts, Summit; designs plates and vases for porcelain manufacturer in Sevres, France

Included in exhibition, The natural image, Stanford Museum, California

Receives John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship; included in exhibition, Floral contemporary artists in the world of flowers, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin

Included in exhibition, Aprés Monet: the water lily in contemporary art, Hammond Museum, North Salem, New York

Lectures at the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute, University of Oklahoma, Norman

Solo exhibitions: Aggressive goodness series, at Spike Gallery, New York; Aggressive goodness series II, at Patricia Faure Gallery, Santa Monica, California

Solo exhibition, Aggressive endearment, at Spike Gallery, New York

Solo exhibition, Silhouette series, at Spike Gallery, New York

Solo exhibitions: Charms, at Spike Gallery, New York; Lace paintings, at Patricia Faure Gallery, Santa Monica, California; Robert Rahway Zakanitch, at Armory Art Center, West Palm Beach, Florida

Solo exhibitions: Robert Rahway Zakanitch: the lace paintings, at Locks Gallery, Philadelphia; Tureen series, Werkst├Ątte, New York

Solo exhibition, From a garden of ordinary miracles, at Samuel Freeman Gallery, Los Angeles

Solo exhibition, Robert Zakanitch: hanging gardens, at Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York

Robert Rahwey Zakanitch currently lives and works in New York City, New York

Barbara Delano © Tyler Graphics Ltd., revised Kate Buckingham, 2006; revised Julia Greenstreet, 2013

This chronology provides an overview of selected biographical information, major solo and group exhibitions held within the artist's own lifetime.

Further information will be added to this site as the National Gallery proceeds with its research and documentation.

Last updated January 2017