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Robyn Horn sculpting with a chainsaw on a large block of wood

MCD Curator Walk-Through: Material Illusions

June 25, 2022 @ 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Museum of Craft and Design

Carve out time on exhibition opening day for the Curator Walk-Through of Robyn Horn: Material Illusions. Brad Cushman (previous Gallery Director and Curator at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock) joins artist Robyn Horn for an exploration of her wooden sculptures and layered paintings.

Having always worked in series, Horn makes sculptures that contain qualities of asymmetry, geometry, volume, lack of balance, and contrast with heavily textured surfaces. Her entropic pieces throw the natural order into a state of near-chaos; wood appears as if slipping from stacks–perilously teetering on thin bases. Under her hand, a material stable and sturdy enough to use in construction becomes elegantly precarious.

Horn’s paintings explore similar qualities in two dimensions– employing an additive process of layering paint rather than the subtractive technique used in her sculptures. Across both mediums, Horn’s unique understanding of geometry and exploration of surfaces illustrate a cohesive theme spanning over 35 years of craft process.

MCD will be the first West Coast museum to exhibit Robyn Horn’s artworks, most of which was created during the 2020 Covid-19 quarantine period. Register today to be amongst the first Californians to see Horn’s work and hear directly from the artist herself!


MCD members FREE, Students and Seniors $10, Non-members $12
Pre-registration encouraged.
Not a member? Join today!


Robyn Horn was born in Ft. Smith, Arkansas, and graduated from Northside High School. With both her mother and her sister as painters, her interest in the arts was encouraged and she went on to earn a Bachelor of Fine Art from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. Following college, she worked in the typesetting field in Little Rock, before becoming the chief photographer for Arkansas Parks and Tourism. After trying her hand at stained glass, she found wood.

In 1984, she began working on the lathe making wood bowls and vases which eventually evolved into carving wood sculpture. Over the past 30 years, she has developed an aesthetic through studying the work of sculptors such as Barbara Hepworth and David Nash, as well as painters’ work such as Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending A Staircase, along with Picasso and Braque’s Cubism. Horn has always worked in series, making sculptures that contain qualities of asymmetry, geometry, volume, lack of balance, and contrast with heavily textured surfaces. In 2005, she ventured into painting and explored similar qualities in two dimensions.

Robyn Horn’s work has been collected and exhibited by museums and galleries throughout the nation and internationally.


Brad Cushman served as the Gallery Director/Curator at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock from July 2000 to April 2022. He began his career in higher education in 1986. He is also a studio artist and collector. He received a B.A. in Studio Art from Illinois College, Jacksonville, Illinois, and an M.F.A. in painting from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Cushman’s curatorial projects have included exhibitions that promote cultural diversity and social justice, through the voices of Black, White, Latino/Hispanic, LGBTQ+2, South Asian, and African artists.

Cushman exhibits his own studio art in regional and national exhibitions featuring paintings, polymer gravure etchings and mixed media works. He is the voice of Picture This on NPR in central Arkansas. His audio essays on art and design have been broadcast since 2005. He can also be seen hosting Inside Art, a television program produced on University TV.


Make the most of your MCD Membership. This event is FREE for Members and don’t forget to stop by the Museum Store on your way out and get your 10% off discount!

Not an MCD Member? Join today and get free and discounted tickets to MCD’s signature programs, events, tours, and more!


Visitors are to show proof of up-to-date vaccinations. All visitors over two years old must wear a specialized filtering mask such as KN95 or N95 at all times while inside the museum store, galleries, and restrooms. Learn more about MCD’s guidelines here.


June 25, 2022
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Event Category:


Museum of Craft and Design
2569 3rd St
San Francisco, CA 94107 United States
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Wood block sculpture with middle cut out slightly and grain lines coming from the middle


June 25 – October 30, 2022

The first museum exhibition to present Robyn Horn’s recent sculptures and paintings on the West Coast, much of which was created during the 2020 Covid-19 quarantine period.

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