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James Robie

Born James Paul Wroblewski 

Buffalo, NY, 1945

Art Historian Gail Scott writing in the 2011 “My Life as Art” retrospective exhibition catalog in 2011 wrote:

“What is extraordinary about Robie is the ethos of continually moving forward on this journey, which is his life, his work, his art. From his earliest days as a student in the 1960s and at every later stage of his career he embraced experimentation. Robie’s practice as an artist involves playing with his materials and tools in order to discover how, as he describes, “to make images in unfamiliar ways.”

Although written a decade ago, this philosophy about making art still applies to him today. 

Educated as a painter, Robie studied with Harvey Breverman at the State University of New York at Buffalo (formally the Albright art school) and later with Richard Diebenkorn at UCLA. It was there he was awarded a Summer Fellowship to the Yale Art and Music program in Norfolk, CT where he studied with Knox Martin, Bernard Chaet and met visiting painters Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler, Cleve Gray, Ilya Bolotowskiy, photographer Walker Evens and critic Clement Greenberg. Later he did his graduate work at Yale University where he studied with painters Lester Johnson, Al Held and Jack Tworkof graduating with BFA and MFA degrees in 1970.

While still at Yale, Robie introduced Ken Tyler, one of the founders of Gemini GEL, the printmaking workshop in Los Angeles to Tomkins Tooling, the company where he worked in the 60s as an apprentice wood pattern maker while attending UCLA. This was instrumental in establishing a multiples department at Gemini GEL and where Robie worked after graduation. It was there he worked on projects with artists Robert Rauschenberg, Claes Oldenburg, and Roy Lichtenstein among others.

He got his initial start in Graphic Design in the early 70s first working for the designer John Coy and later for art director Maurice Yanez of the Robert Myles Runyon office. Five years later he started his own company, James Robie Design Associates in 1978. During these past 43 years he has worked with a variety of clients, including over 250 projects for the 1984 Olympic games and corporate design for Fortune 500 companies including Northrop Grumman, Teledyne and Atlantic Richfield, Foundations and Institutions including the The Getty Center, Foundation for the Junior Blind and the LA84 Foundation.


His work has appeared in numerous design books including CA, Print, Abitare, Graphic Design: Los Angeles and Hot California Designers, and Design USA published by Graphis. From 1992-1997 He was a design instructor at the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles.

It might be said that he has led two separate lives, one as a graphic designer and one as a fine artist but I think it would be more accurate to say that he has lived one life as a complete artist forever pursuing creative solutions in the visual arts. These pursuits have led to a large diverse body of work that encompasses paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs and graphics. This body of work that now spans over 5 decades is a testament to his commitment to creating a vision that is both exciting and timeless.

James Robie lives and works in Ojai, CA



State University of New York at Buffalo

(Formally the Albright-Knox Art School)


University of California at Los Angeles

(Studied with Richard Diebenkorn)


Yale Fellowship

(Norfolk School of Art & Music, Norfolk, Connecticut)


Yale University Graduate School of Art and Architecture

(Studied with Lester Johnson, Al Held and Jack Tworkoff)

Graduated BFA and MFA



Full Art Scholarship (SUNY at Buffalo)


Orselli Award (UCLA)


Yale Fellowship (Norfolk School of Art & Music


Elizabeth Canfield Hicks Memorial Scholarship (Yale University)



Perception and Persistance

Ojai Studio Artists Group Show

Ojai Valley Museum

Ojai, CA


Fragile/Fiber - Group Show

Carolyn Glasoe Bailey Foundation

Ojai, CA


ANCIENT | FUTURE - One Man Show  

Thomas Paul Fine Art, Los Angeles, CA


Intersecting Formations - Group Show

Museum Outdoor Arts, Englewood CO


Linear Concepts and Other influences - Recent Paintings 

Gallery KM, Santa Monica


My Life as Art - 40 Years of Fine Art and Graphic Design  

Cal State University Northridge Gallery, Los Angeles


Home and Away - (Photographs) 

Oliver Wolcott Gallery, Litchfield, Connecticut


The Recent Past - (Photographs) 

C. Peter Miller Gallery, Woodbury, Connecticut


One Man Show - (Photographs) 

William Pitt Gallery, Washington Depot, Connecticut


One Man Show (Paintings + Sculptures) 

Daniel Saxon Gallery, Los Angeles


National Academy Museum 173rd Annual Juried Exhibition, NYC


Group Show (Sculpture) 

Jan Baum Gallery, Los Angeles


One Man Show (Paintings) 

Space Gallery, Los Angeles


One Man Show (Paintings) 

John Kohler Art Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin


One Man Show (Paintings) 

Gerard John Hayes Gallery, Los Angeles


Group Drawing Show 

Gerard John Hayes Gallery, Los Angeles


Group Show 

Molly Barnes Gallery, Los Angeles


"Contemporary Romantics"

Graham Gallery, NYC

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