Born: January 3, 1932, Yonkers, New York / Died: November 15, 1997
Robert Stanley, a painter who translated newspaper photographs and other commercial imagery into gritty works on canvas, died on Saturday in Manhattan on his way to Beekman Hospital. He was 65.
The cause was cancer, his family said.
Mr. Stanley was born in Yonkers, N.Y., in 1932. After attending Columbia University for two years, he received a bachelor's degree in English literature in 1953 from Oglethorpe College in Atlanta and studied art at the High Museum of Art there. Back in New York, he first worked in collage. In the early 1960's, he began to base his paintings on images clipped from newspapers and magazines, following the example of Pop artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, who would become his brother-in-law.
Enlarged and often rendered in two equally saturated colors (red and green, for example), Mr. Stanley's images could border on the abstract or be powerfully explicit. His preferred subjects, including rock stars, sporting events and pornography, always seemed to grate against the pretenses of high art. In the late 1960's Mr. Stanley started using his own photographs, basing paintings on images of tree branches or the ground, and also using pictures of life-drawing models at the School of Visual Arts, where he was a faculty member for 16 years.
Mr. Stanley had his first solo show at Paul Bianchini in 1965 and thereafter exhibited regularly in New York City and Europe. His most recent exhibition, held last month at the Mitchell Algus Gallery in Manhattan, completed its run the day he died. His work is represented in many public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in Manhattan; the Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington and the Milwaukee Art Museum.
Mr. Stanley's first marriage ended in divorce. He is survived by his wife, the former Marylin Herzka; a stepson, Perry Brandston; a stepdaughter, Lori Brandston-Greene, and four grandchildren, all of New York City.