Eric Kroll is kind of fairy godfather to me. He was my mom’s boyfriend in Taos and New York City. He turned her on to photography and modeling… and then he turned her on to my dad. His photographs of my family wove themselves into my memory and sense of self. His annual holiday photo-cards grace our old family albums.
galleryIntell: WILLY BO RICHARDSON – WATERCOLORS
Phillips de Pury, New York
Kristina Nazarevskaia, October 4, 2012
Willy and I met many years ago when a budding young painter, I ventured deep out into Brooklyn to buy stretcher bars from his studio. It was a random ad on Craiglist that brought me to a ground floor garage space on Myrtle Ave and into the very first real artist studio.
I remember feeling instantly awed by the perfect fluidity of color streaming down the canvas in soft vertical bands. Orange flowed next to the most brilliant turquoise, next to a deep alizarin crimson, next to a Naples yellow and all these colors seemed to be destined to exist in this very harmony, in this very space. There is a saying in Russian “Все гениальное – просто”, which roughly translates to all the ingenious things are in reality quite simple and this is how Willy’s work felt to me. It was perfectly simple, yet impossible for anyone but him to have conceived and expressed. Over the years we have kept in touch and finally met up again in New York in anticipation of the exhibition at Phillips de Pury “Watercolors” in Chelsea where several of Willy’s new works are installed in their very own room. I’ve asked Willy to talk about about his process and the paintings in this exhibition as I believe that in abstract art, understanding the artist’s physical process, his thought process and inspiration is an integral part of understanding the painting itself. What is it about the outside world or the inside space that brings out this line or this stain, or this field of color? How do thoughts and intentions come to life?
Here is how Willy described his process:
The first known abstract painting was made in 1911 by Wassily Kandinsky, and so this 100th anniversary year offers opportunities to explore a fascinating world of art from many points of view. Undoubtedly nudged by the multi-dimensional exploration of Abstract Expressionism currently on view at MoMA, numerous exhibitions continue to unfold in New York, including 70 Years of Abstract Painting—Excerpts at Jason McCoy Gallery.
The show starts off with a retina-blasting canvas from 1969 by Gene Davis (1920-1985) that capitalizes on ideas from Op Art practices of the day – filtered through an evidently fun-loving eye (below, left). At roughly 5.5 x 5.5 feet, the painting riffs on Josef Albers’ (1888-1976) Interaction of Color series, but done in a spectrum of vibrating stripes, rather than squares.
Painting, Doritos and Color Theory – The Work of Willy Bo Richardson
April 2011, by Katy Crocker
Sixteen years ago Santa Fe artist Willy Bo Richardson drove down highway 71 in Austin. As a painter consumed with his practice, he considered color. The blacktop road burst with light intermittently, revealing the yellow stripes on the street in the night. Time passed and Willy realized he was going the wrong way in relation to his destination. In the midst of this experience, he stopped at a gas station to reorient. As if by magnetism, he was pulled towards a bag of Doritos. The red and blue bag of Doritos served as a source of discovery, with a yellow chip inside.
This experience led him to the concept that red and blue make yellow. Forget logic, this was a philosophical exercise. Time passed, and yet another “ah-ha moment” showed the artist, via the visible light spectrum, that in fact yellow lies between red and blue, which became a theoretical platform for the artist and reconciled the “Doritos-moment.”
Discovering where a color like yellow comes from, and its relation to other colors would inform the artist’s paintings into the future. Continue reading “The End of Being: Painting, Doritos and Color Theory By Katy Crocker”
A Perceptual Dance Party for Your Eyes
by Lynn Maliszewski May 26, 2011
Abstraction is a fickle shapeshifter. Outlines of horses and bulls in caves and geometric markings on ceramic flatware were the earliest embodiment of the craft. Since then, abstraction has travelled through an unbelievable number of incarnations. Jason McCoy Gallery recently took on the challenge of presenting a hiccup’s worth of abstraction from the 20th Century, anticlimactically titled 70 Years of Abstract Painting: Excerpts. The showing was based on the gallery’s strong holding of abstract art, looking to “initiate an unusual dialogue” between past and present.
I’ve also attached a PDF of the article “The Soul of Santa Fe”: DestinAsian Santa Fe Article.PDF
Excerpt from the article:
Notwithstanding food and architecture— and even writing— there’s an undeniable romance and import to painting, which is why I take a friend’s advice and contact Willy Bo Richardson, a rising star in contemporary art. “Come over to the studio and we can talk,” he replies when I e-mail him. Unlike New York, in Santa Fe there is a generosity of space and time.
Richardson, 38, lives in an adobe with his wife, Kim, and five-year-old-daughter, Audrey, and he paints in a bright, cramped attached garage that he’s converted to a studio. Though he’s shown in galleries from New York to London and sells paintings for more than most people spend on a car, Richardson is boyish, friendly, demure. His biography is startlingly similar to Emily henry’s: his parents moved to New Mexico in the ’60s and raised him on a commune; he moved to the East Coast to make his name (New York in this case), but returned to Santa Fe because he simply couldn’t stay away.
In 2016 the State Bar of New Mexico called me to ask if they could use my image for the cover of the State Bar Directory. Distributed to all practicing attorneys and judges in New Mexico, the Bench and Bar Directory is an resource for attorneys and their legal staffs. The folks at New Mexico Bar Bulletin chose my work for two covers in 2015.
Full article here: CatyKrocker: Willy Bo Richardson features work in upcoming “70 Years of Abstract Painting,” NYC
Consider this statement: the painter is inextricably bound to paint. Although seemingly unarresting, this statement signifies the importance of medium. Imagine the possibilities of paint—the medium’s peculiarities and idiosyncrasies. Paint is mercurial. Color becomes paramount, along with application. In accordance with the range of human experience, paint expresses every possibility. Fittingly, painters who understood paint as expression of something nonrepresentational were dubbed abstract expressionists, including historical icons such as: Hans Hofmann and Josef Albers.
Contemporary artists, like Willy Bo Richardson examine and enrich the abex conversation. Consequently, Richardson’s painting Three Muses will be featured alongside several artists, including Hofmann and Albers, for “70 Years of Abstract Painting – Excerpt” at Jason McCoy Gallery in New York. The exhibition provides a platform for the examination of abstract painting throughout several decades.
In order to better understand Richardson’s process, I have asked the artist a few questions about his upcoming exhibition and work.