Robert Mangold was born in 1937 in New York. In 1956 he enrolled in the illustration department of the Cleveland Institute of Art. Within a year, he had transferred to the fine art division of the school, and in 1960 he entered the graduate programme at the Yale University School of Art and Architecture, where his classmates included Brice Marden and Richard Serra. On completion of his second degree, he began working as a guard at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, alongside Sol LeWitt, Robert Ryman, Dan Flavin, and Lucy Lippard. During this period Mangold adopted what was to become his signature Minimalist painting style. In 1965, the Jewish Museum, New York, mounted the first major exhibition of Minimalist painting, which included Mangold’s work.
Mangold’s paintings and prints are characterised by geometric forms, monochromatic color, and an emphasis on the flatness of the painted picture plane. He made no distinction between different genres, giving equal weight to paintings, drawings and prints, in which he reconsiders, and explores visual ideas in different scales and media. Printmaking became a natural fit for an artist who experimented with variations on a theme, and works in series and sequences. Mangold often first developed ideas in print that later appeared in paintings. To date he has completed over two hundred print editions with various publishers, including Crown Point Press, with whom first worked in 1972.
Since his first one-person exhibition in 1964, Mangold's paintings and prints have been exhibited extensively, including solo exhibitions at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1971); Kunsthalle Basel (1977); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1982); Hallen für Neue Kunst, Schaffhausen (1993), Musée D’Orsay, Paris (2006), and Parasol unit, London (2009). Mangold also exhibited at the 1993 Venice Biennale. His work has been included three times in both Documenta, Kassel (1972, 1977, 1982) and in the Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial (1979, 1983, 1985).
Robert Mangold lives and works in New York.