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 Richard Sheehan  (1953 - 2006)

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Lived/Active: Rhode Island/Massachusetts/New Hampshire      Known for: townscape

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Ad Code: 4
Richard Sheehan
from Auction House Records.
"Summer Bridge"
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Richard Sheehan, Artist, Educator, 1953-2006

Richard Sheehan, 52, a nationally recognized artist and educator, passed away unexpectedly and suddenly on August 9th, 2006 in New Hampshire while on vacation with his wife, Dr. Laura Viehmann, and sons, Andrew and Patrick. 

A native of Dorchester, Massachusetts, Sheehan received a BFA degree from Massachusetts College of Art, Boston in 1975 and a MFA degree from Yale University in 1977.  A 1979 recipient of a Fellowship Grant from the Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities, he quickly attracted attention with his romantic plein-aire paintings abstracted from the bridges and roads of Dorchester, Quincy, Woonsocket, Cumberland and the surrounding urban landscape. 

Sheehan began painting outdoors in the dead of winter on a bet in 1977 and fell in love with the rigor and changing light conditions nature offered.  He painted the same bridge underpass numerous times over the years, but at different times of the day and seasons, changing to the other side of the street for a different perspective.  Sheehan’s bold and decisive handling of paint, eye for color and light often convinced collectors that he was a California artist, a San Francisco Bay Area resident, not a New Englander and Dorchester born native.  He moved his studio indoors, took a hiatus from exhibiting, and explored new subject matter while enthusiastically embracing parenthood in the mid-1990’s. 

Richard Sheehan was known for his humor, dry wit, integrity, and work ethic.

His solo exhibitions at the Alpha Gallery, Boston, MA, Roger Ramsay Gallery, Chicago, IL and Jeremy Stone Gallery, San Francisco, CA were critically acclaimed and reviewed in ARTnews, Art in America, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, and numerous other periodicals. 

Sheehan’s paintings have been included in group exhibitions at the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, Waltham, MA; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Maryland Art Institute, Baltimore, MD; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA; The Boston Athaneum (The Future of the Past:Fifteen Contemporary Realists Paint Boston, 1996), The Bank of Boston, Boston, MA; Capital Cities/ABC, Inc., Allan Stone Gallery and Salander O’Reilly Gallery, New York, NY (Illustrious History, 1871-Present, 1996).

Sheehan had been a Visiting Artist and Lecturer at The Vermont Studio School, Harvard University, Yale University, Rhode Island School of Design, Middlebury College, The Boston Museum School, Brandeis University, Maryland Art Institute, University of California, Davis, California College of Arts, Oakland, San Francisco Art Institute, and others. 

His paintings are represented in major private, corporate and public collections across the United States.

Submitted October 2004 and updated in August of 2006 by Jeremy Stone, Fine Art Professional, San Francisco, CA.  His source is first-hand knowledge of the artist, and the update was drafted at the request of the artist's widow.


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