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Richard Winther (23 July 1926, Maribo, Denmark - 30 August 2007, Vindeby, Denmark) was considered one of the major Danish artists of the 20th century. He explored the arts extensively and his prolific career focused mainly on painting, graphics, photography and sculpture. Richard's work was greatly influenced by Asger Jorn and Richard Mortensen, both Danish artists part of the Linien* group.
Richard Winther was born Richard Ludvig Philip Weibull Winther. The third of three children, Richard Winther's father was Carl Christian Winther and his mother was Ely Maria Ricardis Weibull. He grew up in a sugar factory and understood how productivity could be improved by the use of machines. This exposure impacted his work as he explored extensively printing and photography. Photography was a subject that enticed him in such a way that he built several cameras during his career. Interested in the arts from an early age, Richard started working on art at age ten and exhibiting his paintings during high school years, after the Linien (The Line) artists' work. Records of his work exist since early 1940s.
Richard Winther was a student at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen,* where later he became a professor. He founded Linien II exhibition group with other young artists, initially a spontaneous-abstract style of painting but with time transformed into a geometric-abstract type of movement. Later on some of Richard Winther's work became intensely abstract and had some of the characteristics of the De Stijl/Konkret Art characteristics. Richard Winther had an intense Lithographic* period in the 1950s. As he evolved as a painter, his work shifted focus to the human body.
He was a member of Eks-Skolen founded in 1961 by one of his friends, the artist Poul Gernes. There he taught several upcoming artists, including Per Kirkeby. While always interested in photography, he dedicated a significant part of the 60s to this technique, which he would revisit time after time the following decades including his last years. Richard Winther's work is marked by particular themes such as Heronimous and Syndflod. Many of these themes fit the idea of recycled classicism.
Between 1994 and 2007 he took the idea of recycling forward doing much of his pieces in cardboard. He took recycling to another level when taking previous artists's life and works and building further on those personalities. Further, Richard Winther took his idea of recycling and applied it to his own work: he revisited many paintings of his as well as his photographic cameras accomplishing an "Rdo Re-do" where Rdo was his latest way of signing his art pieces.
Richard Winther received several awards for his work: Eckersberg Medal 1971, Thorvaldsen Medal 1997 and the Prince Eugen Medal.
Richard Winther was also involved in the movie The Wake directed by Michael Kvium and Christian Lemmerz where he was the character St Patrick.
There is a permanent collection of His work at the Silkeborg Kunstmuseum in Denmark, where there was an exhibition in March 2010 of his photographic works as well as examples of the cameras he built.
In the US, The University Art Gallery at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth exhibited some of Richard Winther's work between November 2008 and January 2009.
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