Darryl Pottorf

American (born 1952)

Darryl Pottorf was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1952, and grew up in Florida. Pottorf trained both as an artist and an architect and has been producing visually provocative forms for more than three decades. Pottorf creates two-dimensional mixed-media works by traveling the world photographing disparate images, which he agglomerates and transfers onto paper. He overpaints the images, sometimes with a grid of crisp lines, sometimes with more painterly strokes. The images appear beneath a powdery veil that subdues color and form. Pottorf’s works have the physical attributes of oil on canvas and the surface delicacy of watercolor. In the early 1990s he developed a technique for transferring existing images onto paper using water-based media. His invention precludes the need for glass, since he poly-laminates the paper directly onto panels and treats it with a coating that filters ultraviolet light.

Pottorf has said, “ Negotiating between my nature and the nature of my materials, I look at the world.” With each exhibition his subject matter has expanded, from souks in Morocco, to Buddhist monks turning prayer wheels, to suburban backyards. This enmeshing of cultures and images places Pottorf squarely in the post-modern camp. His works possess the restlessness of a jump-cut music video coupled with a classical equanimity. The artist Robert Rauschenberg has said of Pottorf’s work: “ These paintings are proof and witness of change even when no one is watching. The fixed images have the appearance of an archeological dig that seems to be uncovered within the surface.”

For more than 20 years, Pottorf first assisted and later collaborated with Robert Rauschenberg, one of the world’s preeminent living artists. Pottorf worked with Rauschenberg on such groundbreaking projects as ROCI (Rauschenberg Overseas Cultural Interchange) and Quarter of a Mile long. In 1995, their artistic collaboration culminated in Quatro Mani (Four Hands) in Venice, Italy.

Darryl Pottorf’s work has been exhibited at galleries and museum around the world, including Mathew Marks, Gagosian, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; the Dallas Museum of Art, Texas; the Evansville Museum, Indiana; the Butler Museum of Art, Ohio; the Tinguely Museum, Basel, Switzerland; and the Philharmonic Center for the Arts in Naples, Florida.