Richard Mayhew, ‘Arroyo Secco’, 2009, ACA Galleries

About Richard Mayhew

Committed to the idea that art can play a role in racial equality, Richard Mayhew creates emotionally evocative landscapes that often feature a nondescript, solitary tree. Once a regular at the Cedar Bar, a bohemian hangout in New York City, he developed his improvisational approach from the Abstract Expressionists he met there, conceiving of painting as something akin to jazz. Though he traversed the United States by car to study different environments, his gestural process of pouring paint onto a canvas and working it into lush fields of color drives his practice. “Landscape has no space, no identity,” Mayhew once said. “It allows the painting to be about emotion.” In his earlier work, Mayhew limited his landscapes to a spare palette, but in the mid-1970s he began incorporating bold colors into his work.

American, b. 1924, Amityville, New York, based in Santa Cruz, California