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Robert Yi is a finessed portrait painter who directs his rendering skills at exposing cultural identities instead of physical likenesses. A vocabulary of cultural signifiers, patterns and motifs reinforce Yi’s societal constructions. Sexual, ethnic, and racial categories are directly confronted in a variety of painting styles, ranging from the graphic to the academic. Ethnography, technical prowess, and tradition equally shape Yi’s painting practice.

-Michelle Grabner


Robert Yi was born in Seoul, South Korea. He received his MFA from American University, graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in Foreign Affairs and the Corcoran College of Art & Design with a BFA in Studio Art.


Robert has exhibited in group shows at the Kunst Gallery, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Civilian Art Projects, Metropolitan Art Project, Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan. Robert has also exhibited in solo shows at the Buchanan Gallery in Manassas, VA and the Artists and Makers Studio in Rockville, MD. Robert has participated in residencies in Berlin and New York.  Robert’s work has been reviewed in The Washington Post and Voice of America. 


Currently, Robert serves as the Interim Director of Drawing and Painting and the Assistant Director at George Mason University's School of Art and Design in the City of Fairfax, VA.

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