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 Kirk Richards  (1952 - )

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Lived/Active: Texas      Known for: classical realist figure, portrait, and still life painting

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Kirk Richards
An example of work by Kirk Richards
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The Texas figurative and portrait painter Kirk Richards currently lives in Amarillo, Texas and was born there on November 22, 1952. His paintings, sometimes allegorical in content are often based on nature.

At West Texas State University Richards received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree but became increasingly frustrated with the modernistic and abstract art taught by many of his professors. After completing his first year of graduate school as an art major with an emphasis on painting, he discovered Minneapolis artist Richard Lack (in the 1971 summer edition of American Artist magazine) a follower of the Boston School of traditional painters. Richards moved to Minneapolis six weeks later and enrolled at Atelier Lack, the studio school Lack founded. Spending four years (19761980) under Lack's guidance, Richards worked in a class of eight to 10 students, spending mornings doing graphite or charcoal life studies and afternoons drawing and paintings, plaster casts, still lifes, or portraits.

After leaving the atelier in 1980, Richards returned to Texas and began his professional painting career as a classical realist. The term, "classical realist" coined by Lack, describes a synthesis of Impressionism and Academism. Richards' subject matter includes interiors, portraits, allegorical scenes, and still lifes. The majority of his work is completed in his studio, utilizing the north light from three skylights to create "the subtle variations of hue and tone that intrigue him," with the exception of an occasional plein air landscapes.

Kirk opened his own atelier, modeled after Atelier Lack. Richards' atelier operated from 1982 until 1988 in Amarillo, Texas. In the Fall of 1988, he received a commission to paint a large, three panel mural project for the First Baptist Church of Amarillo. Having recently closed his atelier, he devoted his energies entirely to the execution of this commission, and it was completed and dedicated in the winter of 1989. From that time, Kirk has concentrated on a full-time painting career.

Source: Linda M. Gosman, American Artist, June 2003

Gandy Gallery, www.gandygallery.com

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A painter in the style of contemporary realism, Kirk Richards earned BFA and MFA degrees from West Texas State University, graduating in 1976. He then studied in Minneapolis at the atelier of Richard Lack, a master and mentor to many artists of contemporary realism. He completed his work there in 1980.

Richards then opened his own atelier in Amarillo, Texas. He became one of the sixteen full Guild Artists of the American Society of Classical Realism and is a certified member of the American Portrait Society. He is also a member of the American Artists' Professional League.

His portrait commissions include patrons of the Metropolitan Opera and the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra.


Biography from Tree's Place Gallery:
Kirk Richards, born 1952.

After B.F.A. and M.F.A. degrees from West Texas State University, Richards studied with one of R. H. Ives Gammell’s protégés, Richard Lack, in the latter’s Minneapolis atelier.

One of the sixteen full Guild Artists of the American Society of Classical Realism, Richards is also one of the few certified members of the American Portrait Society.  He is a member of the American Artists’ Professional League which has also been the source of one of his several national awards and prizes.

His work has been included in " East Coast Ideals, West Coast Concepts", exhibited in three west coast museums; and "Beauty: A Rebirth of Excellence", and the "ASCR Guild of Artists" exhibitions at the Newington Cropsey Foundation.

Richards currently resides and paints in Texas.

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