Ray Richardson

Work

Past Solo Exhibition – Ray Richardson: Made In London

6 – 29 September 2018

Bio

1964 Born Woolwich Dockyard, London

Education

1984-87 Goldsmiths BA Fine Art

1983-84 St Martin’s School of Art Foundation Course

Awards

2015

Ruth Borchard Self Portrait Exhibition Purchase Prize

2012

BP Portrait Award

Artist in Residence Eton College

Founders Painting Prize ING Discerning Eye

2007

Association of Painter Printmakers A.R.E.

2002

British Council Award

1999

British Council Award

1990

BP Portrait Award

1989

British Council Award

Selected Collections/Commissions

Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Fondation Carmignac, Paris

The National Portrait Gallery, London

London Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Pallant House Museum, Chichester

De Beers Diamond Trading Co., London

Kasen Summer Collection, Connecticut

Isle of Man Government Collection, Isle of Man

Royal Overseas League Collection, Edinburgh

St George’s Hospital Trust Collection, London

Ingram Collection, London

University of Warwick Collection, Warwick

Ruth Borchard Collection, London

Selected Exhibitions

 

2018

Our Side of the Water – Zedes Art Gallery, Brussels

Made in London – Beaux Arts, London

Coasteroller Graphic Works – Jack House Gallery, Portsmouth

2017

Country Got Soul – Glasgow Print Studio, Glasgow

Architecture as Metaphor – Group Show (incl. Tony Bevan, Michael Craig Martin, Richard Deacon, Lucy Gunning,
Fabian Peake, Rachel Whiteread), Griffin Gallery, London

Jeux Sans Frontières – with Guy Denning, Galerie Raison d’Art. Lille

2016

K3 Universal – with David Bray, Guy Denning & Ben Oakley, Ben Oakley Gallery, London

You Caught Me Smiling, Again – Zedes Art Gallery, Brussels

Art Car Boot Fair – with K3 Universal, London & Hastings

The Outer Limits – Galelrie Clairefontaine, Luxembourg

Still Life – Style of Life – Former Galerie Alain Blondel Artists, Beauborg24, Paris

London Soul – Beaux Arts Gallery, London

2015

Linolcult with Picasso, Peter Blake, Sol LeWitt, Wayne Thiebaud and Gary Hume, Paul Stolper Gallery, London

Art Car Boot Fair with Art On a Postcard, London & Margate

Kevin Foursauds with David Bray, Ben Oakley and Guy Denning, Ben Oakley Galley, London

Reality: Modern and Contemporary British Painting, The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

2014

RA Summer Show, Royal Academy, London

The Jack Lord, Ben Oakley Gallery, London

Reality: Modern and Contemporary British Painting, The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, University of East Anglia, Norwich

I Get Along, Boycott Gallery, Brussels

Kevin Threesauds Room To Let with Ben Oakley and David Bray, Ben Oakley Gallery, London

2013

The Dog and Crow with Guy Denning, Ben Oakley Gallery, London

Kevin Threesauds with Ben Oakley and David Bray, Ben Oakley Gallery, London

2012

Keep The Faith, The Drawing Schools, Eton College

Everything Is Everything, Beaux Arts Gallery, London

Homecookin’, Boycott Gallery, Brussels

BP Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery

Never Promised Poundland, with Cathie Pilkington and Mark Hampson, No Format Gallery, London

Londons Topdog, Ben Oakley Gallery, London

2011

Londons No. One, Ben Oakley Gallery, London

L’Ironie Du Sort, Boycott Gallery, Brussels

2009

Just A Little Pinch Of London, Advanced Graphics, London

Music For Pleasure, Galerie Alain Blondel, Paris

Southern Comfort, Boycott Gallery, Brussels

2006

Leftfield, Eleven Fine Art, London

Rare Prints, Advanced Graphics, London

A to Z, Boycott Gallery, Brussels

2005

Ordinary People, New Arts Gallery, Connecticut

An English Phenomenon, Mendenhall Sobieski Gallery, Los Angeles

Not A Lot To Do, Boycott Gallery, Brussels

Lazy Sunday, Gallagher and Turner, Newcastle upon Tyne

2004

Days Like These, Fabien Fryns Gallery, Marbella

Storyville, Advanced Graphics, London

2003

Short Stories, Galerie Alain Blondel, Paris

Views From My Island, Boycott Gallery, Brussels

Absolute Richardson, Gallagher and Turner, Newcastle upon Tyne

2002

All Around The World, Fabien Fryns Gallery, Marbella

England Away with Mark Hampson, Gallery Aoyama & Laforet Museum, Tokyo

A London Film, Advanced Graphics, London

2001

Out Of Town, Boycott Gallery, Brussels

2000

London Calling, Boycott Gallery, Brussels

Jigsaw Puzzle, Galerie Alain Blondel, Paris

1999

OKUK with Mark Hampson, Gallery Aoyama & Laforet Museum, Tokyo

MFSB, Beaux Arts Gallery, London

1998

Tender Moments, Boycott Gallery, Brussels

The Circus Comes To Town, Galerie Alain Blondel, Paris

In Search Of A New Land, Mendenhall Gallery, Los Angeles

The Morcambe And Wise Show, Glasgow Print Studio

1996

One Man On A Trip, Beaux Arts Gallery, London

The Luckiest Man In Two Shoes, Galerie Alain Blondel, Paris

1995

The Last Laughers, Boycott Gallery, Brussels

1994

Oostenders, Beaux Arts Gallery, London

1993

RA Summer Show, Royal Academy, London

Eastenders, Hunt Jennings Gallery, London

1992

Good Old England, Boycott Gallery, Brussels

Coals To Newcastle, Glasgow Print Studio

The Odd Man Out, Galerie Alain Blondel, Paris

1990

BP Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery, London

The Sporting Life, Galerie 31 Lille

1989

The Cat In The Hat, Boycott Gallery, Brussels

1988

The John Player Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery, London

Selected TV, Radio and Film

2015

Art Car Boot Fair, Interview with London Live News

2012

Londons No. one, Shortlisted Edge of the City Film Festival, Total Thrive Productions

2005

From the Artist’s Studio, BBC Radio 3

2004

Reflections, film made by Ray Richardson and Glen Maxwell with Deptford Albany, London

Robert Elms Show, BBC Radio London

2001

Titian, Jake Auerbach Films, National Gallery, London

1999

Robert Elms Show, BBC Radio London

Oil on Canvas, BBC 2

1998

Fresh, LWT, Sampled, Channel 4

1997

Oil on Canvas, BBC 2

1993

Robert Elms Show, GLR Radio London

Essays
Ray Richardson: Lord of the Urban Jungle by Austin Collings 2018

Ray Richardson: Lord of the Urban Jungle

Every day I go to the local library to spy. Spying is waiting, so I sit amongst other men, attached to old computers, and wait with my listening eye, honing my low-level-addiction.

Some of the men fill out online job-search diaries. Some play colourful computer games. Some gaze at escort girls. Some watch news footage of fields on fire. Some stare into air.

Each appear to be trying to unlock the traffic jam in their heads, trying to make a companion out of space, as they fathom the path from larger day to huger night, yet again; and, despite what I think, I am connected to them. I am one of them.

Ray Richardson is one of them. He is something else as well – a modern master of painting figures – figures not too dissimilar to the library-dwellers – caught in thought amongst the sprawl of his London.

It seems to me a work of art is the evidence offered by a fantastically observant witness – or spy -and I connect with Ray’s world because it revels in the superabundance of earthly life like an array of mirrors in which the human predicament leaps out at us.

Everybody has that feeling when they’re confronted by a canvas and its right, that sudden familiarity, a sort of recognition, as though they were creating it themselves, as though it were being created through them while they look at it or listen to it. He is

not afraid to share the fear that we belong to another, or to others, or to God.

We live in a symbolic society now – a symbol culture – signs everywhere, labels, sponsors, brands. Symbols are the definitions of being. Nothing has more value than symbology. However, the roots of his canvas-cast (and my fellow men and women in

the library) are part of an older seemingly bygone folk culture.

He details the dilemma of these two seismic opposites. Gone were the good old days. Today was the good old days. Against the odds, we come back stronger for (yet another) one last round. There is loss, yes, but also celebration, a luminous stoicism.

There is elegance as well, a tormented and comic elegance to the way his characters stand and bend.

The politics are not on the surface of the paintings but underneath, woven into the emotional architecture of the canvases. He lives inside the intestines of the place, of London, spying on the brain and the genitals.

His trick, his sleight-of-hand, or style – call it what you like – is to capture thewonder and doom of the thinking process, when thoughts dawn on us – on humans and animals – or dog’s – or one dog in particular – Brian the bull-terrier – his right-

hand mandog/canine alter-ego. He does this in a way that is neither depressing nor daft, but enlivening. He can fill and break your heart at once. Thats lingering beauty for you.

Art offers space – certain breathing room for the spirit. This is its central magic, its core of joy. And he revels in it, in the atmospheric delicacy of the canvas offering possibilities of dignity and poetry; the light sublime, like staring at a rusted bridge in

the sun, a blaze of blue sky or blue denim, the shuddering of windblown water, somebody’s skin glowing like milk, the great tide of daylight passing into evening; the paints, on fire, working wonders.

He has not only an eye but a taste, smell, touch, and ear for excruciating tone and anonymous hue. His canvases are zones of enigmatic solemnity and activity – so much energy and information on display, like soap operas imbued with a cinematic

sweep.

He raids film culture like Richard Burton’s seething, barking – dog-like – knife-wielding armed robber Vic Dakin in Villain (1971) raids banks. Film courses through his veins: the no-nonsense glare of peak-era Michael Caine inmthe 60s and early 70s, the wandering camera of Martin Scorsese’s maverick ode to mobster-living, mobster-cooking, mobster-music – Goodfella’s – and like David Lynch, he conjures up a strangely ordinary world that exists somewhere between a potent melodrama and a metaphysical urban noir. You see all sorts, in every sense of the phrase, including Ray himself sometimes, painted in there, full cameo, full mutton-chop sideburns, Andy Capp-cap on, like Scorsese himself in Taxi Driver orAlfred Hitchcock in his last London-set masterpiece Frenzy, bending the truth of narrative painting like he bends light, at his will with a psychic freedom.Something lifts the paintings beyond the representational registers of realism into the suggestive, mystical realm of meditation. Moments of the real world, the one we all experience, seem mysteriously taken out of time. Privacy and society conjoin in living colour.

Ray’s shot at the big one is on the horizon. He’s a genuine contender to one of those mythic titles that secretly drive all competitive artists. Watch him rise. See him out there, doing his road work, wiping the sleep from his eyes at the crack of dawn to go paint the crack of dawn with his own meticulous touch, painting himself into a corner with his own painted corners, defying the dictates of art-fashion, with Brian snoozing in the studio, adrift in Brian-land, lord of his own urban jungle.

Austin Collings

Writer, Filmmaker

James Ellroy - Forward for Made in London 2018

FORWARD

Ray Richardson has notably painted men in packs — working-class conspirators, huddling or staring off in different directions, stoics up to no good. All to the good — but men are mere human beings — and, thus, in Big Ray’s world, they are relegated to second-class-citizen status.

Because Ray Richardson is a dogman. He paints dogs because he worships dogs. He most specifically worships the King of Dogs — the English Bull Terrier.

You’ve seen these wedge-headed, slope-snouted, bat-eared, beady-eyed, coarsecoated, whip-tailed motherfuckers. They’re shark-like. They love all humans and seek to kill all rodents and cats. They embody the great themes of Love and Death. They radiate glee and indiscriminate good cheer. They’re pure K-9 efficacy — and Ray Richardson gives us their transcendent souls.           He portrays them among street-corner stoics up to no good. Maybe the stoics are planning a dope heist or a smash-and-grab. The bull terrier’s the brains of the operation. How does Big Ray get that point across? Because he rivets your eyes to the dog, not the men. Big Ray is a man. He’s a man who takes all his artistic cues from dogs, because dogs are superior to men, and bull terriers are the supreme K-9 kommanders. Big Ray longs to be a dog — and that’s a compliment. Big Ray paints from this immutable sense of longing.

Ray Richardson’s oil-on-canvas bull terriers are strident, whimsical, domineering, tender, and the kwintessence of K-9 form. They look simple on the surface. Ray Richardson paints them again, again, again, and again — reinventing and exploding this K-9 form, revising it, perfecting it, ever attentive, ever worshipful. How can anything so on-the-surface simple be so complexly depicted? The answer is this great British artist himself. He loves the bull terrier more and more. He paints them to express his growing gifts as an artist and his growing and ever-mutating love for this most magical beast.

I’ve been following Ray Richardson’s career for 25 years and I know whereof I bark.

The Exalted Dog,

James Ellroy

Novelist

Past Exhibitions
2012: Everything is Everything Exhibition
2014: New Works
2015: REALITY Modern and Contemporary British Painting

27 September – 1 March 2015 at Sainsbury Centre

‘Curated by artist Chris Stevens, REALITY brings together over 50 years celebrating the strength of British painting with some of the best and most influential artists of the last Sixty years.’
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

2015: New works
2016: London Soul Exhibition
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