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 Jean Richardson  (1940 - )

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Lived/Active: Oklahoma      Known for: abstract horse painting, mural, sculptor, graphics

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Ad Code: 4
Jean Richardson
from Auction House Records.
Cimmerian Frolic
© 2001 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Hollis, Oklahoma, Jean Richardson has remained active in that state, living in Oklahoma City.  She is a painter, sculptor, graphics artist and muralist who studied in 1978 at the Art Students League in New York.  A specialty subject of her painting is abstract horses.

Her murals are at the Oklahoma State Capital building, the Oklahoma House of Representatives and the Oklahoma City Courthouse.

As a painter her subjects have included equine images and miniatures.

Source:
Who's Who in American Art. 2004-2005

Biography from Southwest Gallery:
Jean Richardson was born, but not raised, in Hollis, Oklahoma, in 1940. Due to the war, her parents made several moves that exposed her to different art museums and painting classes across the country before they settled in South Carolina.

At an early age, Jean found the love of her life - painting - and subsequently had the advantages of an excellent high school art program and won youth talent competitions at Clemson University in 1956 and 1957. Richardson received her BFA in painting from Wesleyan College in 1962. During her college years, she came under the influence of two prominent teachers whose roots were in the “Robert Henri” branch of the New York school. First was Lamar Dodd, once a student himself of Henri, who inspired a generation of young artists at the University of Georgia. Second was Lucille Blanch, who, like her husband Arnold, was a New York painter and best friends with the Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. These and other teachers encouraged Jean in her commitment not only to the vocation, but to the intellectual search for the ideas in which her work was to be grounded.

Richardson returned to Oklahoma in the early seventies and has made her home in Oklahoma City since that time. She rediscovered her Western heritage in a series of “Oklahoma Album” paintings in which figures frozen in time, as if in old photographs, were superimposed on vaguely abstract backgrounds. She also spent one entire year painting abstract versions of Oklahoma’s red dirt roads executed in acrylic on paper.

By the late seventies, she had begun to use the images of Edward Curtis, the photographer, who had traveled through Western Oklahoma creating photographs of Native American tribes a century earlier. Richardson appropriated Curtis’ haunting emotional interpretations of America’s Great Plains. Feeling that the “west” is our own mythology, the artist created her series, “Plains Myth”: heroic silhouettes of mounted figures against intense skies.

As her work matured, Jean gained recognition as a regional artist. She was selected for the State Collection of Oklahoma Artists and was included in the Oklahoma Annual at the Philbrook Museum in Tulsa. She also began to show in galleries and has had numerous one-woman exhibitions. She has participated in the Art in the Embassies Program where the works of living American artists are placed in the United States Embassies around the world.

Richardson has long been preoccupied with the line between abstraction and representation, and has explored both sides of that demarcation. Her work has been a lifetime of experiments with the destruction of an image and the finding of one from randomness. In her recent years, She has explored themes of energy and motion using the motif of the leaping horse or figure. The early influence of abstract expressionism is still apparent in the artist’s painterly canvases. She is involved with brush stroke and gesture interposed in violent explosion of transparent colors and heavy textures laid with a palette knife, and then stained with splashy washes of acrylic.

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