Rob Neilson

Rob Neilson is the Frederick R. Layton Distinguished Professor of Art and Associate Professor at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. Born and raised in Detroit, he received a BFA in Fine Arts from the College for Creative Studies. A professional artist since earning his MFA in sculpture from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Rob has exhibited his sculpture, installations, and drawings at galleries, museums, and alternative spaces nationally and internationally.

Neilson has created public art commissions throughout the United States, including projects in California, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Illinois, Michigan, Virginia, and North Carolina. In 2006 Rob completed a 6-month residency at the Kohler Arts/Industry program where he fabricated 54 iron castings for a public art project commissioned by the Los Angeles Metro Transit Authority.

Equal parts artist and educator, Rob has been a visiting artist at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Virginia Tech University and Longwood University (Virginia), Dickinson College (Pennsylvania), Millikin University (Illinois) and California State University.


Current Exhibition

Credo Quia Absurdum: New Work by Rob Neilson

August 12 - September 16, 2017

Reception: August 12, 5-8pm

In this new body of sculptural works, Rob Neilson concentrates on the exchange between the idiosyncratic and collective connotations borrowed from the individuals depicted. Exploiting the traditional genre of the portraiture bust in a way which combines iconography and incongruity, Neilson creates art constructed from layered MDF (medium density fiberboard) and finished with handmade milk paint to consider the space where the iconic encounters the absurd.


Exhibition Catalog Available

Credo Quia Absurdum: New Work by Rob Neilson

With a foreword by Rafael Francisco Salas, the 32-page catalog features recent sculpture that examines the artist’s on-going interest in the “object” and how it can become imbued with meaning. Centered on an exchange between the idiosyncratic and collective connotations borrowed from the (usually iconic) individuals depicted, Neilson uses visual and conceptual remnants of cultural figures and personal history to explore what this reveals about how we view ourselves, what we value, and the meaning we give our individual narrative – be it reliable or not.

Soft cover: 32 pages
Publisher: Frank Juarez Gallery
Language: English
Product Dimensions: 9 x 9 inches

Catalog designed by Eighty Art & Design

* Click here to purchase.

*Note: catalogs are available at the Frank Juarez Gallery from August 12 - September 16, 2017.

Gallery hours: Saturdays from 11am - 4pm. 


To inquire, please call 920.559.7181 or email