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Bob Privitt at Pepperdine: 40 Years of Sculpture and Drawings

May 5 - May 12, 2004


(above: "Office High Heel" refers to the changing role of women as the are charged with reponsibilities both in the home and the workplace, 8.5 x 9.75 x 6.5 inches)


The Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art at Pepperdine University will present Bob Privitt at Pepperdine: 40 Years of Sculpture and Drawings, featuring works by Pepperdine's Artist-in-Residence, from May 5 -12, 2004.

Bob Privitt is retiring this year after a 40-year teaching career, which has included positions at Harding University in his native Arkansas; Lubbock Christian University in Lubbock, Texas; and Pepperdine University's Seaver College in Malibu, where he has been a sculptor and professor of art since 1979. (right: "Epitaph for a Poet" refers to the Harlem Renaissance poet Countee Cullen and the poem of the same name, 35 x 12 x 10 inches)

The retrospective will cover four decades of his work, from his earliest piece (motivated by the medical experiments being done on monkeys during the early 1960s), a cast bronze head and base with a carved walnut body called Monkey (1963­64); to his latest (completed in March 2004), a mixed-media sculpture paying homage to Wallace Stevens' poem of the same name, 13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird. Several of his sculptures are interactive.

Privitt states, "I have consistently avoided a central theme throughout my career. Instead, early on I made a 'Declaration of Artistic Independence,' which has freed me to investigate many themes and ideas through the years.

"Works in the show will include 'Engineered Works,' sculptures that deal with precision, symmetry, physical balance and the formal elements; 'Rockin' Rollin' Stock,' whimsical works that rely on rockers and wheels; 'Bird Houses,' designed to please an artist; and finally sculptures that deal with 'The Human Condition.' I will also have many drawings that deal with poetic, literary, or 'Human Condition' ideas."

Privitt, known on campus as "Coach Bob," earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1962 from Harding College (Arkansas), his Master of Arts degree in 1964 from the University of Tulsa, and his Master of Fine Arts degree in 1971 from Indiana University.

He has been Artist-in-Residence at Pepperdine since 2002, and also served as director of the Pepperdine University Art Gallery from 1981­91.

At Pepperdine, Privitt was the Harriet and Charles Luckman Distinguished Teaching Fellow for the 1992­93 academic year and the 1995 Faculty Member of the Year. Additionally, he was selected for the 1996 and 1998 editions of Who's Who Among America's Teachers.

Privitt's works have been chosen by jury for inclusion in over 100 national and regional exhibitions and received awards in over one-third of them. His drawings and sculptures are in many public collections, including those of University of Tulsa, Indiana University, Oklahoma Art Center, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and City of Thousand Oaks, CA.

The artist is the recipient of many national, regional and private grants, and was sponsored by the Borchard Foundation in Woodland Hills, CA, to be Scholar-in-Residence at Brittany, France, for six months in 1988­89.

Privitt has been featured in several printed publications, including Sculpture: Technique, Form, Content by Art Williams (Worcester, MA: Davis Publications, 1988); and The California Art Review, edited by Les Krantz (Chicago: American References, Inc., 1989).(right: "Flee as a Bird" refers to an old church song written in a minor key. The "ladder" hanging below is made of bird bones,16 x 9.25 x 2.75 inches)

A former motorcycle racer, Privitt also once worked as a journeyman ironworker and welder and helped to build the west spillway of the Glen Canyon Dam in Page, AZ.

For more information on Bob Privitt and his work, visit his web site at arachnid.pepperdine.edu/privitt.

The exhibition is sponsored by the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation. Works will be on view in the Gregg G. Juarez Gallery, Ron Wilson­Designer Gallery, and West Gallery, in the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art.


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