American Hyper Realist-artist, Robert Cottingham was born in 1935 in Brooklyn, New York. He studied at the Pratt Institute and began a brief career in graphic design, which inspired his paintings of American urban signage. He first established himself during the early 1970’s among other renowned artists such as Chuck Close and Richard Estes.
Cottingham draws inspiration from the paintings of Piet Mondrian, Edward Hopper, Stuart Davis, Charles Demuth and Marsden Hartley. Throughout his career he has worked mostly in series: signs, buildings, numbers, letters, words, railroad imagery and typewriters. A large number of his paintings and prints depict the architecture and commercial signage of “downtown America” in the forties and fifties that no longer exist today.