Bert Gallery opens a new exhibit, Collecting Dean Richardson & more. A small pocket exhibit of twenty-one (21) paintings, the exhibit shows a collector’s lifelong assemblage of notable RISD painter and professor, Dean Richardson (b.1931) and other artists. The Dean Richardson paintings span a variety of subject matters to include his series of first generation baseball players, Native American leaders and the natural world animal kingdom. Early in his career, Richardson caught the attention of the Fulbright, Guggenheim and Max Becker foundations and was a Whitney Museum favorite as a young painter. His work does not disappoint despite the waning interest in the present day art world in painters versus video, photography, collage and other media artists.
Richardson’s reputation dominated the Rhode Island art scene in the 1990’s. A much-loved painter, he evolved out of an Abstract Expressionist style in his youth to a rich traditional painting style. Living in a generation surrounded by innovation, Richardson chose to look at the American past for his subject matter trying to capture the elusive American identity and meld his artistic vision of the subjects he explored. He commented “Americans define themselves in terms of a certain traditional Puritan ethic, even as we selectively revise and ‘modernize’ American history.”
Richardson has had museum exhibitions at the Butler Institute of American Art, Newport Art Museum, De Cordova Museum, Whitney Museum of Art, Corcoran Biennial, Boston Institute of Contemporary Art. His work is in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum, Brockton Art Museum, Baseball Hall of Fame, Newport Art Museum and Farnsworth Museum.
Born in Orange, New Jersey, Richardson studied at Rhode Island School of Design receiving his BFA in 1956, then onto the Brooklyn Museum Art School in 1956 – 1957. He taught at Rhode Island School of Design from 1959 – 1994, was Chief Critic in 1972-1973 and became Professor Emeritus in 1995.