Robbins received a B.F.A. degree from Cooper Union in 1970 and spent the following year as a teaching fellow at Syracuse University. Since the mid 1970s his paintings, drawings, and block prints have been exhibited extensively in the United States and abroad, and in 1985 he received a painting grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Robbins is a keen observer of the changing moods and atmospheres of the city. He sees the people of New York in quick, impressionistic terms, and seeks to capture the speed and motion of the streets. He is especially concerned with the changes in light and color that occur at different times of the day and during different seasons, and expresses in his work the quick "moments of realization [one has] in the passage through the physical world."
Virginia M. Mecklenburg Modern American Realism: The Sara Roby Foundation Collection (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press for the National Museum of American Art, 1987)