Robots: Evolution of a Cultural Icon

  • David Pace, Greg's Robot Collection, 1991. (twenty 16 x 20 inches images). Courtesy of the Artist.

  • Michael Mew, Robot 4, 2006. Acrylic on canvas. Courtesy of the Artist

  • Eric Joyner, What We Ought Not, We Do, 2006. Oil on wood panel. Collection of Mark Holt. Photograph courtesy of the Artist and The Shooting Gallery, San Francisco.

  • Clayton Bailey, Robot Pet, Beautybot, Boybot,1990-2000. Aluminum and mixed media. Collection of the San Jose Museum of Art. Gift of the Artist with additional funds contributed by the Museum’s Collections Committee. 2003.25.01-3. Photography by Douglas Sandberg.

  • Nam June Paik, Robespierre from the series, Evolution, Revolution, Resolution, 1989. Portfolio of 8 etchings and lithographs (ed. 64). Collection of Carl and Elizabeth Solway. Image copyright Carl Solway Gallery, Inc, Cincinnati.

    This exhibition examined the development of robot iconography in fine art over the past 50 years and featured sculptures, paintings, photographs, digital media, and installations created by more than 20 artists. While some of the artists meticulously create portraits or representational sculptures of robots, others address a range of social and cultural issues through robot iconography.

    Traveled: Sonoma County Museum, Santa Rosa, California, January 23–April 5, 2009, Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita, Kansas, September 20–December 21, 2009, and Boise Art Museum, Boise, Idaho, February 6–May 16, 2010.


    Download the iPod Tour for this exhibition at iTunes.


    Robots: Video Labels

    For the exhibition Robots: Evolution of a Cultural Icon, the San Jose Museum of Art is offering "Video Labels" for several of the artists work. The artists are Clayton Bailey, Nemo Gould, Eric Joyner, David Pace, Lisa Solomon and Gail Wight. Watch the videos here or check out a iPod Touch at the museum and watch them in better resolution on our tour. Have an iPhone of iPod Touch of your own? Go to!


    Robots artists: Clayton Bailey, Chris Cunningham, Dalek, Feric, Nemo Gould, Amy Hicks, Eric Joyner, Chico MacMurtrie, Mars-1, Michael C. McMillen, Michael Mew, David Pace, Nam June Paik, Alan Rath, Ed Ruscha, Michael A. Salter, Lisa Solomon, Jeff Soto, Jason Van Anden, H.C. Westermann, Gail Wight, Kow Yokoyama, and Thomas Zummer. The exhibition is curated by SJMA senior curator JoAnne Northrup.