11 October - 15 December 2012

“Rob Pruitt’s Autograph Collection”, Luxembourg & Dayan, Savile Row


"Rob Pruitt’s Autograph Collection”, which will be on display at Luxembourg & Dayan’s Savile Row gallery, is one of Pruitt’s most ambitious bodies of work in his complex, heterogeneous oeuvre.   This body of work began in 1980, when Pruitt, then still in high school, made a special pilgrimage from his home in Washington D.C. to New York City specifically to obtain Woody Allen’s autograph.  That first moment waiting for Mr. Allen at the stage door of Lincoln Center was the initial event that solidified Pruitt’s obsession.  After college, during the Pruitt Early collaboration, the practice of collecting autographs was incorporated into the litany of Pruitt Early projects, albeit one that was never exhibited.  Pruitt-Early eventually went on to collect autographs by carrying unstretched, raw Belgian linen with them to events and parties for their subjects to sign.  Since the 1980s, this vast collection, which has become “The Signature Series,” features signatures from well-known individuals, including visual artists, actors, political figures and other people of cultural significance.  Pruitt Early never showed their signature series collection while they worked together, and since they disbanded as an artistic entity, Pruitt has continued to amass this autograph collection over the past three decades.  While there are over 400 signatures that compose the entire series, this upcoming London presentation will feature a selection of approximately 200 from the series.

Since the dawn of modernism and conceptual art, artists have stopped signing the front of their canvases. Pruitt’s project responds to this trend by emptying the canvas of all content except for the signature that is drawn on each piece of raw linen.  Pruitt’s “Autograph Collection” is a snapshot of the past three decades—it reflects our collective desire for authenticity of experience, our bottomless obsession with fame, and the fleeting nature of celebrity.  The collection of signatures was recently expanded specifically for this exhibition.

“Rob Pruitt’s Autograph Collection” is curated by Alison Gingeras, an independent curator and writer, who previously organized the gallery’s “Grisaille” exhibition at the London and New York spaces.


About Rob Pruitt 


Rob Pruitt was born in 1964 in Washington D.C., and has been exhibiting his work for over 25 years.  Pruitt has been included in numerous exhibitions internationally including: “Pop Life”, Tate Modern (2010); “Mapping the Studio”, Palazzo Grassi (2009); “The Gold Standard”, PS1 Contemporary Art Center, New York (2006); “Seeing Double”, Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA (2005); “Following and to Be Followed”, Consortium, Dijon, France (2003); “Shanghai Biennale 2002”, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China (2002); “Vantage Point”, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland (2001); “Protest and Survive”, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, UK (2000); as well as the seminal exhibition, “Post Human”, curated by Jeffrey Deitch, Castello di Rivoli, Museo d' Arte, Contemporanea, Rivoli, Italy (1992). In 2009, in association with White Columns, Rob Pruitt conceived and presented his performance-based artwork “The First Annual Art Awards” at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. The second annual art awards took place at Webster Hall in December 2010.

In March 2010, ABRAMS published Pruitt's first comprehensive monograph, Pop Touched Me. A testament to Pruitt's perseverance, versatility and talent, the book surveys almost 25 years of the artist's work and reflects his influence upon a generation of younger artists. Pruitt's work fearlessly experiments with popular culture and tells a story using iconic and accessible imagery from the world we live in.  Yet, his art is never as self-evident as the glitter of the pandas may lead you to believe on first impression, and only upon further consideration does it reveal the unexpectedly brilliant concepts that inform it.