Russell U. Richards // USA
Russell U. Richards is an artist with a studio at the McGuffey Art Center in Charlottesville, Virginia. He has been drawing, painting, and making sculpture since he was a child, finally deciding to become a full-time artist at age 26. For the better part of ten years he worked almost exclusively in printmaking, developing innovative multiple-plate color methods in etching and lithography, for which he received the Virginia Commission for the Arts grant in 2002.
In 1999, Russell was struck with the first of several near-fatal bouts of the disease ulcerative colitis. Ironically this, and his subsequent fight to regain health, served to infuse his artwork with a new vitality and vigor.
During this time he created the signature style for which he is known: nervous, quaking lines and cartoonishly reduced forms tempered with a fine sense of composition. Imaginary landscapes, architecture, people, fantastical monsters and animals characterize his edgy and often thematically challenging images.
Russell’s work has been exhibited in galleries across the United States, Europe and Japan, and recognized in publications such as The World’s Greatest Erotic Art of Today, and Strange Maps: An Atlas of Cartographic Curiosities. His struggle with colitis became the focus of his art book and memoir The Arts and Innards of Russell U. Richards! featured in the 2009 Virginia Festival of the Book. In 2009, the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke honored him with a solo show “Thoughts About Life and Death”.
1987-88 Parson’s School of Design, New York, NY. Major: art
1988-89 School of Visual Arts, New York, NY. Major: film, video, and photography
1991-93 University of Maryland, College Park, MD. Earned B.A. in film, video and photography
1996-97 Corcoran School of Art, Washington, DC. Continuing education courses in printmaking
Public presentations of art
2009 “Thoughts About Life and Death” retrospective exhibition at the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, VA. Curators: David Brown and Erin Wommack.
2009 Conceptual art piece in the group show “Let There Be Light” at Piedmont Virginia Community College, Charlottesville, VA. Curator: James Yates
2009 “The Arts and Innards of Russell U. Richards!” exhibition corresponding with release of art book at McGuffey Art Center, Charlottesville, VA.
2008 “World’s Greatest Erotic Art of Today” traveling exhibition. Curators: Hans Jurgen Dopp, Main Curator Berlin Erotic Museum, Fiona Patten, Director National Museum of Erotica Australia, Raquel Cano, Manager Barcelona Erotic Art Museum, Dian Hanson, Sexy Book editor for Taschen, and others.
2007 Three-artist exhibition with Robert Bricker and Rick Weaver at Woodberry Forest School, Woodberry Forest, VA. Curator: Kelly Lonergan
2007 “The Art of Russell Richards and Robert Bricker,” two-artist exhibition at Gallery 50 in Rehoboth Beach, DE. Curator: Jay Pastore
2007 Poster design for annual “Artini” art poster campaign and fundraiser for Second Street Gallery, Charlottesville, VA. Curator: Leah Stoddard
2007- present. Ongoing representation at Gallery 50, Rehoboth Beach, DE. Gallery Director and Curator: Jay Pastore
2006 “Going Underground” fourth annual juried competition and exhibition at Art at Large gallery, New York, NY. Juror: Pet Silvia
2006 “Love Letter Invitational” group show, featuring collaborations between artists and writers, at Second Street Gallery in Charlottesville, VA. Curator: Leah Stoddard
2006 “Freak House Art,” a two-artist show with Dana Ellyn at Warehouse Gallery in Washington, DC. Curator: Molly Ruppert
2006 “Seattle Erotic Art Festival” group show of contemporary erotic art, Seattle, WA. Curators: Laura Henkel, Director Laura Henkel Fine Art, Pet Silvia, Director Art at Large Gallery NYC, and others
2006 “Inside/Outside” show of five artists at Piedmont Virginia Community College, Charlottesville, VA. Curator: Beryl Solla
2006 Poster design for 2006 “Artini” art poster campaign and fundraiser for Second Street Gallery, Charlottesville, VA. Curator: Leah Stoddard
2005 “Brontosaurus” three-artist exhibition with Tim Biskup and Bwana Spoons at Compound Gallery, Portland, OR
2005- present. Continuing representation at Union Printmakers Atelier in Washington, DC. Curator: Scip Barnhart, senior drawing and printmaking instructor at the Corcoran School of Art and George Washington University
2004 “C2D” ( Charlottesville in 2 Dimensions) annual group exhibition, Charlottesville, VA. Sponsored by the Art in Place public art program.
2004 “2: two years” solo exhibition at McGuffey Art Center in Charlottesville, VA
2003 “Beyond Words: Kathe Kollwitz and Contemporary Print Artists” group show of printmakers, including Kathe Kollwitz, at Portsmouth Museum in Portsmouth, VA. Curator: Suzanne Foley, Head Curator, University of Virginia Art Museum
2003 “C2D” annual group exhibition, Charlottesville, VA.
2002 “The Isle of the Living” solo exhibition at McGuffey Art Center, VA.
2002 “City Series” solo show of prints at the Washington Printmakers Gallery in Washington, DC.
2001 “Mystery Exhibition” solo show at McGuffey Art Center, VA.
2001 “WD Printmaking Workshop Exhibition” group show at Brandywine Art Center, Philadelphia, PA. Curators: Allan Edmunds and Percy Martin
2000 “The Inhabitants” a puppet play written and created by RUR, performed at Live Arts Theater in Charlottesville, VA.
2000 Solo show of paintings, prints and drawings at Weston Gallery in Cambridge, MA.
1999 “The Eleventh Hour” solo show at Washington Printmakers Gallery, Washington DC.
1998 “Thirteenth Annual Mini Print International Exhibition” touring group show sponsored by Studio School and Art Gallery, Binghamton, NY. Director: Beverly McLean
1997 “DC ArtRomp” group exhibition at Warehouse Gallery, Washington, DC. Curator: Molly Ruppert
1997 “Twelfth Annual Mini Print International Exhibition” touring group show sponsored by Studio School and Art Gallery, Binghamton, NY. Director: Beverly McLean
1989 Jim Henson’s Character Design Competition Winners Exhibition at the Muppet Mansion, New York, NY. Juror: Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets
Awards and honors
2007 Selected for “World’s Greatest Erotic Art of Today” exhibition, and corresponding book.
2006 Honorable mention, “Going Underground” juried competition at Art at Large gallery in NYC.
2001-02 Virginia Commission for the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship grant recipient for lithography.
2001 Achievement Award, Paintings from the Piedmont annual exhibition, Charlottesville, VA.
2000 Acceptance as a full member of McGuffey Art Center in Charlottesville, VA.
1995 Achievement Award, Paintings from the Piedmont annual exhibition, Charlottesville, VA.
1989 First place winner (with Dan Zimmer)- Jim Henson’s Character Design Competition, sponsored by the Muppets. Juror: Jim Henson
2009 ‘Inaccurate Maps of Charlottesville’ featured in the book “Strange Maps, An Atlas of Cartographic Curiosities”.
2008 Self-published art book and memoir “The Arts and Innards of Russell U. Richards!”
2007 “World’s Greatest Erotic Art of Today” book- featured artist.