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Richard Wright – Artist Research

Posted in 20/21, and Contextual Research 2021

Richard Wright (born London, 1960) is an English artist and musician. Wright was born in London. His family moved to Scotland when he was young. He attended Edinburgh College of Art from 1978 to 1982 and studied at Glasgow School of Art between 1993 and 1995 studying for a Master of Fine Art. He lives in Glasgow. and Norfolk.


Richard Wright is best known for his site-specific yet transient works that unite painting with graphic and typographic elements, charging architectural spaces with a fourth dimension of subtle yet extreme optical complexity and subverting the traditionally static dynamic between painting and viewer. His paintings and applied metal-leaf schemes connote memory and ephemerality—these works are short-lived, oftentimes lasting only as long as the exhibition. Alongside works on interior surfaces such as walls and ceilings, Wright’s works on paper encompass a range of handmade prints, ink drawings, gilding, and watercolors. More recently, Wright has installed leaded glass into existing window or skylight apertures, allowing the work to meld with the fabric of the building. These interventions, utilizing various mediums, serve to shift the viewer’s perception of the space. As Sofia Karamani commented in her text for the Turner Prize in 2009.


The first solo exhibition of Wright’s work took place in 1994 at Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, and since that time he has continued to exhibit worldwide. Notable shows include Kunsthalle Bern and Tate Liverpool in 2001; Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf, 2002; Dundee Contemporary Art, 2004; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego 2007. He has been included in many important group exhibitions including: Pitura Brittanica, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 1997; Manifesta 2, Luxembourg, 1998; the British Art Show 5, 2000 and Carnegie International, Pittsburgh, 2008.

[Britsh council]

I find Wright’s early works to be relatable in his use of simple geometric forms and kaleidoscopic Op art patterns, for example the patterns and the symmetry he uses is visually similar to some of my works, like my laser engravings and monoprints. Wright finds paper an insubstantial medium and looks for more transient platforms to work with, emphasising the essential ephemeral nature of his art, this indirectly inspires me in my triumph for new media techniques, especially those that create liveable three dimensional atmospheres.

Image result for richard wright art
No Title, Richard Wright, One color lithograph on Munken Pure white 100gsm, 2012
Untitled, Reece Hill, Monoprint, 30 x 30cm, 2020
Artist's Prize-Winning Work Is Destroyed. (It's What He Wanted.) - The New  York Times
[THE NEW YORK TIMES] Richard Wright, Gold leaf painting, 2009 Turner Prize winner]

I also was inspired by Wrights use of gold leaf, considering how the colour interacts with my favoured sepia toned wood engravings. One application involved using gold paint and a gold frame to embellish a wood engraving, although I wasn’t entIrely satisfied with the final result, the use of gold in my colour palette is something I am keen to pursue in future works.

Untitled, Reece Hill, Hand embellished laser engraving, 2020
Untitled, Reece Hill, Laser engraving on MDF, 30 x 30cm, 2020

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