Robert Earl Paige

Program Overview
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Robert Earl Paige

  • January – December 2022
  • Chicago, IL

Robert Earl Paige grew up on Chicago’s South Side in the 1930’s and studied design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is a painter of textiles, whose work focuses on experimentations with vivid color schemes and abstract geometric concepts inspired by West African art and design. Paige’s work emerged at a time of cultural richness in Chicago, alongside other Black artists within the AfriCOBRA collective, which he was a founding member and his “kool aid” colors inspired bold graphic representations of people and power. He is well known for his Dakkabar fabrics collection that was available in Sears department stores for several years during the 1970’s. Paige viewed the collection as an opportunity to include Black culture in home design. After the international success of his interior collection, he left Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and turned his focus towards youth art education. He believes designing is an organic process and does not continuously churn out mass collections to satisfy the demands of capitalist production. Rather, he is invested in creating beauty that exists beyond the confinement of the museum or gallery space, recognizing that it should be accessible all around us for everyone to experience.