Robert TreaT

Robert Treat is a California artist whose paintings and photographs are exhibited and collected nationally. Primarily nature oriented, Robert's photographs exhibit a strong structural awareness often verging into unconscious abstraction. These concerns of nature and structure also become a basis in his paintings. Working with primitive materials such as beeswax and asphalt, Robert's paintings result in sensuous tactile surfaces and strong active shapes. For him it is a way of recovery to a primary sense of self, a quality that tends to get repressed by today's modernity in general and media-representation in particular. Robert's formal training is in Architecture and Fine Arts from Miami University in Oxford Ohio. After graduation, his interests expanded to include large format photography and film animation. Over the years, he has had the opportunity to study and teach with a variety of creative individuals including Ansel Adams and Chuck Jones. Along with his photographic and painting career, he has been involved in the Hollywood animation industry for over twenty years. Robert currently resides in San Diego.





Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, OH

BFA, Miami University, Oxford, OH

MFA studies, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH


Solo Exhibitions

2018                Intuition & Memory, Cumberland Gallery, Nashville, TN

2017                Recipient of the "Marjorie & Joseph Rubenson Endowment Grant”, Julian, CA

2016                Joshua, Framemaker Gallery, San Diego, CA

2012                "Framemaker Show", Scott White Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA

2011                “Containment/Release” Scott White Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA

2008                “Ties”   Simayspace Gallery, San Diego CA

2007                “Recent Encaustic Works”   San Diego Library Gallery, San Diego, CA

2002                “Recent Paintings”   LA Artcore,  Los Angeles, CA

1998                “New Works”   SOMA Gallery,  La Jolla, CA


Group Exhibitions

2017                Honoring Trees, Photoplace Gallery, Middlebury, VT

                        2017 Rfotofolio Call for Entry,, (Juror: Barbara Wynn Bullock)

                        Size Matters, San Diego, CA (Juror: Kathrine Ware)

2016                Arrested Development, Photographs, Gallery 2404, San Diego, CA

                        Unexpected Surfaces, Cumberland Gallery, Nashville, TN

                        Dusk To Dawn, Photoplace Gallery, Middlebury, VT

2015                35th Anniversary Show, Cumberland Gallery, Nashville, TN

                        Wild Graces, Photographs, Mission Trails Regional Park, San Diego, CA

                        Still, La Jolla Library Art Gallery, La Jolla, CA

                        24th Annual Juried Exhibition, (Juror: Robert Pincus), La Jolla Athenaeum, La Jolla, CA

                        Summer Selections 2015, Cumberland Gallery, Nashville, TN

2014                LAArtFair, Cumberland Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

                         "Summer Selections", Cumberland Gallery, Nashville, TN

                         “Of the Element", Hyde Gallery, Grossmont College, El Cajon, CA

                        "Urban Landscapes" (photographs), PAG Gallery, Escondido, CA

2013                Juried Biennial, (juror: Karen McGuire) Cannon Art Gallery, Carlsbad,CA

                        "Small and Large Packages", Cumberland Gallery, Nashville, TN

2012                "7th Annual Encaustic Invitational", Conrad Wilde Gallery, Tucson, AZ

                        "LAArtFair", Cumberland Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

                        “Addition Subtraction", Conrad Wilde Gallery, Tucson, AZ

                         "Summer Selections", Cumberland Gallery, Nashville, TN

2011                “9th Annual Invitational Drawing exhibition, San Diego Library, San Diego, CA

                        "Summer Show", Cumberland Gallery, Nashville, TN

                        “Summer Show", Scott White Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA

2010                “Pure Painting 3”,  San Diego Library Gallery, San Diego, CA

                        “Art San Diego: Contemporary Art Fair”, Scott White Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA

2009                “Summer Group Exhibition”, Scott White Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA

                         “Fourth Annual Encaustic Invitational, Conrad Wilde Gallery, Tucson, AZ

2008                “8th Annual Invitational Drawing Exhibition”  Earl & Birdie TaylorLibrary, San Diego, CA

                         “Group Show”  Scott White Contemporary Gallery, San Diego, CA

                          “Pure Painting 2”  San DiegoLibrary Gallery, San Diego, CA

                         “Third Annual Encaustic Invtational”, Conrad Wilde Gallery, Tucson, AZ

2007                “Group Show”   CH Kuhl Gallery, San Diego, CA

2006                “Selected Pieces”   CH Kuhl Gallery, San Diego, CA

2005                “2005 Invitational”  Cannon Art Gallery, Carlsbad CA.

                         “ Juried Biennial” (juror: Hugh Davies, SDMCA), Cannon Art Gallery, Carlsbad

                         “14th Annual Juried Exhibition”  (juror: Derrick Cartwright, SDMA), La Jolla Athenaeum, LaJolla, CA

2003                “Regional 3”  Oceanside Museum of Art, Oceanside, CA

2002                “Big and Blurry”   Flux Gallery,  San Diego, CA

                         “Time to Believe”   LA Artcore,  Los Angeles, CA

                          “GLBT Show”   Cova Gallery,  San Diego, CA

                         “The Group Show”   RB Stevenson Gallery,  San Diego, CA

2001                “Necessary Beauty”   RB Stevenson Gallery,  San Diego, CA

1997                “1997International Juried Exhibition of Encaustic Works” Juror’s Award, The Gallery at R&F,  Kingston, NY

1994                “Councilmembers’ & Collectors’ Choice Exhibition”   The Paladion, San Diego, CA

1993                “What’s Next !”   SOMA Gallery,  San Diego, CA

1992                “Group Show”   SOMA Gallery,  San Diego, CA

1991                “San Diego Artists”   Annex Gallery,  San Diego, CA

                        “The Group Exhibition”   Wade Gallery,  Los Angeles, CA

                        “The Happening”   San Diego Museum of Art,  San Diego, CA

1990                “Artist Tour”   San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art,  San Diego, CA

                        “New Works”   Annex Gallery,  San Diego, CA

1989                “Primitive Influences”   Brushworks Gallery,  San Diego, CA

                         “Selected Showing”   Gwydion Gallery,  San Diego, CA

                         “Combination Plate”   Brushworks Gallery,  San Diego, CA

1988                “Locals Show”   Gwydion Gallery,  San Diego, CA

                         “Visual Arts ‘88”   Juried Exhibition, Art Institute of Southern California,  Laguna, CA

                         “8th Annual Juried Show”   Orange County Center for the Contemporary Arts,  Santa Ana, CA

                         Coronado Art Gallery,  Coronado, CA

1985                Winn Gallery,  Los Angeles, CA

1984                Adrienne Simard Gallery,  Los Angeles, CA

                        “L.A. ‘84”   Juried Exhibition,  Brand Library, Glendale, CA

1983                Studio 1617   Group Exhibition,  Los Angeles, CA

                        “Works on Paper”   Juried Show, L.A. Artcore,  Los Angeles, CA


Selected collections and institutions

Sapphire Towers, San Diego, CA

Hotel Parisi, La Jolla, CA

Extraordinary Desserts, San Diego, CA

Luce, Forward, Hamilton and Scripps, Attorneys at Law, San Diego, CA

San Diego Transit Corporation, San Diego, CA

Miami University, Oxford,OH

Thomas Moore College, Cincinnati, OH

Taft Broadcasting, Cincinnati, OH.

Cades, Schutte, Fleming and Wright, Attorneys at Law, Honolulu, HI

Gustaf Anders Restaurant, Costa Mesa, CA

San Diego Public Library, San Diego, CA


 Periodicals / Interviews / Reviews

2017                 Honoring Trees, Book, Photoplace Gallery, Middlebury, VT

2016                 Dusk to Dawn, Book, Photoplace Gallery, Middlebury, VT

2014                 Abstraction and Intention, Nashville Arts, Oct 2014

2012                Seventh Annual Encaustic Invitational catalog, Conrad Wilde Gallery,Tucson, AZ

2010                Curator's Statement, Mark Elliot Lugo, “Pure Painting 3” 

                         Review, Robert Pincus, “Pure Painting 3"

                         Review, Baudelaire Shepherd, “Pure Painting 3", San Diego Citybeat

2009                Fourth Annual Encaustic Invitational catalog, Conrad Wilde Gallery, Tucson, AZ

2008                Third Annual Encaustic Invitational Catalog, Conrad Wilde Gallery, Tucson, AZ

2007                San Diego Orchids and Onions Architectural and Arts Awards, Juror 

                         Curator's Statement, Mark Elliot Lugo, The Visual Arts Program of San Diego Public Library.

                         Robert Treat, Encaustic Works, Documentary, San Diego Library/CITTYTV-24.

2006                Inspiring Kids to Create, San Diego Union Tribune, Jan.15, 2006

                         Melting Art, Today’s Local News, Jan, 18, 2006, San Diego, CA

2005                Invitational, catalog, Cannon Art Gallery

                         2005 Cannon Art Gallery Invitational, Nov/Dec 2005

                         Artsnews, Nov-Dec 2005, Cultural Arts Office City of Carlsbad

                         Vibrant Variety, Today’s Local News, Dec.14, 2005, San Diego

2002                Robert Treat, LA Artcore Quarterly, Sept.-Dec. 2002

1988                Inside San Diego, 1988 Interview, KGTV-TV, San Diego, CA


Teaching Experience

 2006Painting Instructor, San Diego Art Academy (2006 through 2011)



My paintings and my photographs are both process driven. Because they are totally different mediums the processes are quite different. They do relate, however, with a similar visual language and concerns. Included among these concerns are: structure, distilled simplicity, intimacy, memory, eros, and ambiguity of narrative.

About the Paintings

I love painting and drawing because it is such a peculiar act—that of visually manipulating tangible things, making them into odd, flat, and strangely ordered images on paper or canvas. It is endlessly intriguing and revealing.

The process of painting is a very personal exploration… the real power lies in the act itself. If my paintings are to communicate something of worth, the message must be delivered primarily through a painting process that is itself a struggle. My work is both lyrical and structured. These elements are inseparable and constant. The structured image is often obscured by gestural, often violent strokes of wax/paint. This process is a search for order while, at the same time, recognizing the need for inevitable chaos.

I try to work intuitively, for I feel this is where we tap into that thing which makes our voice unique. Putting aside any preconceptions of the direction that the work should go, I just respond to previous marks, decisions, actions, and let the work evolve spontaneously. Some passages resolve themselves instantly while others are worked and reworked. Often there are scores of images buried in the layers of wax/paint that have been left behind by this evolution of process. I find these traces of visual ambiguity that hint of the painting's development to be quite exciting.

About the Photographs

For me photography is a very personal and intimate event; both in the act of capturing the image and the act of viewing it. Rather than making images of the grand landscape, I prefer to focus on the small details, the ones that often go unnoticed, with the aim of transforming the ordinary into something extraordinary. These details are usually nature driven and devoid of people…but not necessarily devoid of human existence. It's my way of simplifying a complicated world.

While working primarily monochromatically, the structure and light of an image generally prevails over any subject matter, hopefully capturing the feelings that lie beneath the surface…the ambiguous, the mysterious.

I usually set about with no preconceived idea of what I'm going to photograph. I allow the camera and the mood of the moment to guide me. This approach is not only helps me see and feel my environment, but also gives me the wonderful freedom of photographing with no expectations, no plans, no right or wrong.