Robert Natkin

1930 - 2010

I had the great pleasure to become friends with Bob Natkin when we showed him in the early '90s. For all his East Coast bravura, Bob was a Chicago guy, having been born of humble Jewish roots on the South Side and painting here until he decamped for NYC in 1959. Bob had the blues in his pelvis and would gladly show anyone who would care to see him swivel... he was wonderfully irreverent. He was also intensely intelligent and well read... always up for a stimulating discussion on most any topic.

Natkin left Chicago in part because the collectors here in the 1950s were not of the slash and drip inclination (preferring Surrealism and the School of Paris) and abstract painters had a tough go of it. New York was obviously more receptive to a young abstractionist so he and his wife, Judith Dolnick, reluctantly moved there. Almost immediately Bob's star began to rise, both there and in London where he also had a great following. His paintings are rich, complex, smart and beautiful. The beauty part was something he never shied away from, even when the intelligentsia wanted ugly. His passing in 2010 leaves a hole in the aesthetic fabric of American painting and he is receiving well deserved reconsideration by collectors everywhere.

Robert Natkin (1930 - 2010)
Untitled, 1957
oil on canvas
102 x 80 inches
signed and dated at lower right
#7926
Robert Natkin (1930 - 2010)
Hitchcock Series: Interior/Exterior, 1986
acrylic on canvas
86 x 80 inches
signed verso
#9228
Robert Natkin (1930 - 2010)
Untitled, 1957
oil on canvas
102 x 80 inches
signed and dated at lower right
#7926
Robert Natkin (1930 - 2010)
Hitchcock Series: Interior/Exterior, 1986
acrylic on canvas
86 x 80 inches
signed verso
#9228
Robert Natkin (1930 - 2010)
Untitled, 1962
mixed media on board
16 1/2 x 13 1/2 inches
signed at lower center, stamped verso
#7918
Robert Natkin (1930 - 2010)
Untitled, 1957
mixed media collage
8 x 10 1/2 inches
signed and dated at lower center
#7911
Robert Natkin (1930 - 2010)
Untitled, 1959
oil, pastel, pencil and collage
24 1/2 x 18 1/2 inches
signed and dated at lower right
#9951
Robert Natkin (1930 - 2010)
The big OK, 1955
oil on canvas
36 x 36 inches
signed at lower right; signed and dated verso
ex collection: Mrs. Herbert G. Schafer , Maitland, FL (acquired by her from the artist)
#11786
Robert Natkin (1930 - 2010)
June's Painting, 1953-54
oil on canvas
32 x 24 inches
signed at lower right; signed verso and annotated "June"
#11982
Robert Natkin (1930 - 2010)
Hitchcock Series, 1980s
acrylic on canvas
47 x 47 inches
signed at lower left
#12453