By Maddie Grussendorf

robpruitt Must See Exhibit: Rob Pruitt At Dallas Contemporary

The Dallas Contemporary is known for presenting challenging and innovative ideas from regional, national and international artists. Dallas Contemporary focuses on engaging the public through their exhibitions, so it only makes sense that New York based artist Rob Pruitt, known for creating improvisational environments, will be showcasing an original exhibition at the space from December 17, 2011 to March 18, 2012. Pruitt will be creating his first institutional exhibition at TDC, a large-scale instillation, which will be his largest yet in the US.

Dallas art enthusiasts may have an inkling of what to expect of Pruitt, but in tradition with his signature trash-culture style, which has incorporated everything from glitter pandas to Amish quit inspirations, no one can truly know.

Pruitt’s work dates back to the late 80s and early 90s both with solo and group exhibitions. A Washington DC native, Pruitt came to New York after graduating high school to attend Parsons The New School for Design. After graduation Pruitt hooked up with artist Jack Early and the duo showed a promising start as iconoclastic artists. Unfortunately in 1992 their renegade ways caused Pruitt to be exiled from the art world due to his and Early’s “tribute” to black culture. The shrink-wrapped posters of famous African Americans and personal rap tracks might not be as shocking in today’s anti-PC art world, but it was scandalous back in the early 90’s. However Pruitt wouldn’t lay low for long. Five years after he was scrutinized for his artistic ideals Pruitt returned with just as much pluck, if not more, by presenting a “Cocaine Buffet” at a group show at an artist’s studio in New York’s Meat Packing District. After presenting a “peace offering” that stretched sixteen feet the art world welcomed him back with open arms.

Pruitt’s perverse nature and ability to shock allowed him to successfully rebuild his reputation. In the past decade Pruitt has produced tombstones for stars that embody their own character, transformed a Victorian upstate New York home into a work of Gothic art and last year had a two-gallery solo show, “Pattern and Degradation,” depicting the year of “sin” that Amish teenagers are allowed – Rumspringa.

Pruitt acknowledges that due to his rocky past some people will stay away from his work, but others will be drawn towards it for the same reasons. And after a career of highs and lows he’s decided to come to Dallas to contribute to our city’s growing interest in art. The Dallas Contemporary is always free admission and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11am-6pm and Sunday from 12pm-5pm. Pruitt’s opening celebration on December 17 will begin at 9pm and end at midnight.