Bill Richards at Nancy Hoffman Gallery
December 17, 2015-January 23, 2016
An exhibition of graphite drawings by Bill Richards, encompassing five years of work, opens at Nancy Hoffman Gallery on December 17 and continues through January 23. Richards will have a dialogue on his work with artist Creighton Michael on Saturday, January 16 at 4 o’clock at the gallery.
Richards speaks about his work:
“My drawings are an investigation of nature and landscape that also reflect a long-standing involvement with an abstract sense of all-over composition. I work exclusively with graphite, eschewing any color, bringing the viewer into a different, less familiar experience of the natural world. I apply the graphite in a way that the fiber of the paper and the graphite particles become intertwined to eliminate the appearance of any distinctive graphite marks, and the texture of the paper. I aim to produce a sense of pure form.
“I create precise, highly-realized shapes that present a close-up view of nature just a few feet from the viewer, in some ways more akin to the space of still life than of traditional landscape. The works may carry with them a sense of poetry or the unreality of dream or fantasy.
“I work with 2B to 10H graphite leads on four-ply cold pressed paper. I spend months working on each drawing, depending on its size, developing the images and working in small sections from left to right across the paper. While the process is meditative and demanding of patience and focus, I am immersed in depicting each element of the image while orchestrating movements of form and tone across the entire surface.
“I use photographic slides I take in nature as the basis for my work, often combining parts of several slides to create a drawing. I do not copy a slide. Instead, I look at my 35mm slides using a 18-power jeweler’s loupe and then draw from memory what I have just looked at, allowing the images to provoke new ideas and inventions. A great amount of imagery is developed through imagination. I make final alterations using a ‘bridge’ to keep my hand from ever touching the paper. Most of the slides that I use have been taken in a nature preserve in upstate New York.”
Never swaying from his voice, or responding to the tides of fashion, Richards’s drawings have a clarity, poetry and evocative nature of few contemporary drawings.
Bill Richards was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1944. He received a B.F.A. from
Pratt Institute, Brooklyn; an M.A. from the University of Iowa and an M.F.A. from the University of New Mexico. He is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment
for the Arts and from Creative Artists Public service programs.
The artist’s work has been exhibited at the Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock; Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; Boise Art Museum, Idaho; The Brooklyn Museum, New York; Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Huntsville Museum of Art, Alabama; Museum of Arts and Sciences, Macon, Georgia; Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbor, New York; Oakland Museum of Art, California; Orlando Museum of Art, Florida; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia; Selby Gallery, Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, Florida; Taipei Gallery, New York; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond; Whitney Museum of American Art, Stamford, Connecticut; and abroad at the Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon; Kunsthalle, Nuremberg; Salas de Exposiciones de Bellas Artes, Madrid.
Richards’s work is represented in the collections of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, New York; The Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; Asheville Art Museum, North Carolina; Boise Art Museum, Idaho; National Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.; Whitney Museum of American Art; and Takasawa Institute, Sokei
Academy of Fine Arts, Toyko.
For further information and/or photographs, please call 212-966-6676 or e-mail Nancy Hoffman Gallery at [email protected].