Monday, September 27, 2010

Shaun Richards:Closed Captioned opens October 2nd with reception on October 14



October 2-31, 2010
Reception: October 14, 6-8pm; artist talk 7pm


“The experience of viewing Shaun Richard’s work is like finding a time capsule from an unspecified era. The sundry media and material book pages, repetitious stenciled forms, carefully delineated figures that combine to form larger forms positioned alongside one another without explanatory narration, beg a greater story, a structure against which their meanings might be deciphered. The strength in his work lies in his unwillingness to fully answer the questions they raise. It is the product of an artist constantly searching.”
-Lauren Turner, curator and artistic writer


“Closed Captioned” will consist of approximately 10 60” x 44” and larger paintings crafted from acrylic, graphite, paper and oil on canvas, which examine themes of role-modeling, gender identity, social dynamics, and how media affects our opinions, actions, and identity. Several of the pieces in “Closed Captioned,” from a recent show entitled “Women and Children First,” feature images of a veiled woman in an iconic, powerful pose. These paintings explore spirituality, religion, identity, sexuality and self-actualization, while the rest are reflections on the economy: the auto industry, environmental concerns, and resource exhaustion, and our complacency towards these concerns.

Early in Shaun Richards’ career, he was concerned solely with traditional, figurative painting. Now his focus has shifted to juxtaposing media, mark making, incorporating elements of traditional painting and text to create artwork that presents a message on multiple levels. Richards includes the art-historical perspective, ethical considerations, and the political, but prefers to raise questions rather than taking an overt stance. According to juror Shauna Lee Lange, “In his case art is not a matter of personality but of respect earned from displaying a thorough grounding in deeply narrative works, classical art history, and contemporary risk-taking. Richards strikes one as an independent thinker, philosopher, and influencer well beyond his present young age.” Juror Joey M├ínlapaz states that, “Shaun Richards’ energetic brushwork on a large-scale canvas is what captivated me. Despite the vigorous and passionate imagery, though, his work is fraught with social content that is conveyed via a formalistic approach to painting techniques, which in the end is what makes his work stand out among the rest.”

About the Artist:
Shaun Richards attended Hagerstown Junior College in Maryland before transferring to UNC Wilmington to earn a B.A. in Art in 1999. In 2003, he enrolled in SUNY Empire State College as a non-matriculated graduate student, where, through the MSLA program, he obtained a studio in Manhattan with weekly studio visits and critiques from established artists, critics and curators. Richards returned to North Carolina in 2006 to pursue art full time, and in January 2007, he was awarded the Regional Emerging Artist Residency at Artspace. In September 2007, Richards was featured in Southwest Art’s annual emerging artist issue, 21 under 31. In November 2007, Richards was included in his first museum show, “The Human Scale,” at the Cameron Museum in Wilmington, N.C. In April 2008, he was awarded Best in Show for his piece, “Bootleg Romanticism,” by Dr. Larry Wheeler, Director of the North Carolina Museum of Art, Juror for the North Carolina Artists Exhibition. From October through December 2009, Richards completed a 3-month residency at The Bemis Center in Omaha, Nebraska. The artist currently resides in Raleigh, North Carolina, is represented by Flanders Art Gallery, and holds studio space at Artspace.

Juror Information:
Shaun Richards was awarded the Target Gallery’s prestigious solo exhibition spot for 2010. The Target Gallery annually selects one contemporary artist for a solo show. A panel of three jurors selects the winning proposal and the gallery produces a catalog for the winning artist. This year, the juror panel consists of: Cynthia Connolly, visual arts curator for Arlington County’s new Artisphere; Joey P. M├ínlapaz, a D.C.-based painter and faculty member at the Corcoran College of Art and Design; and Shauna Lee Lange, founder of Shauna Lee Lange Arts Advisory and Design Studio.