Robert Watts

's New Light on West Africa was the subject of an eponymous 1976 solo exhibition at René Block Gallery in New York. Subsequently exhibited at museums and galleries in Europe, and the United States, as well as at the 1990 Sydney Biennale, it is among the artist’s most significant works.
The series was created from reproductions of important nineteenth-century African tribal objects that Watts had cast and electroplated in silver or chrome. These works exemplify investigations in light, reflective surfaces, and casting that Watts began in the early 1960s. They uncannily foreshadow the postmodern appropriations of Allan McCollum and Sherrie Levine, and the stainless-steel sculpture of Jeff Koons. Robert Watts was an American artist best known for his work as a member of the international Avant-garde art movement Fluxus. Born in Burlington, Iowa June 14, 1923, he became Professor of Art at Douglass College, Rutgers University, New Jersey in 1953, a post he kept until 1984. In the 1950s, he was in close contact with other teachers at Rutgers including Allan Kaprow, Geoffrey Hendricks and Roy Lichtenstein. This has led some critics to claim that pop art and conceptual artbegan at Rutgers. He organised the proto-fluxus Yam Festival, May 1963 with George Brecht, and was one of the main protagonists, along with George Maciunas, in turning SoHo, New York, into an artist’s quarter. He died Friday September 2, 1988 of lung cancer in Martins Creek, Pennsylvania.  He was also known as Bob Watts or Doctor Bob.