Great Estates: The Paintings of Joseph E. Richards and Bill Sullivan
Carrie Haddad Gallery is pleased to present “Great Estates”, a two person show that will feature paintings by Bill Sullivan (1942 – 2010) and Joseph E. Richards (1921 – 2007). This exhibit will juxtapose Richard’s photorealistic depictions of steam locomotives and industrial machinery with the dramatically hued Hudson Valley and South American landscapes by Sullivan. The exhibit will be on view January 9 – February 24, 2109 with an opening reception on Saturday, January 12th, 5-7pm.
Joseph Richards’ precisely painted canvases of giant cranes, cargo booms, propellers and train engines are fueled with a fascination like that of a six-year old boy. “I was reminded of my childhood when I used to watch these giants working in the local switchyards. They seemed almost to be living entities. Even standing idle with their steam up, they were never silent – they panted, grunted and hissed,” recounts the artist. Working directly from photographs, Richards unites light and color together as one element, evident in the reflective surfaces of steel. The otherwise mundane signs of corrosive wear are magnified; rust stains glow on the canvas and yellow painted pulleys radiate like beacons against a bright, blue sky.
Born in 1921 in Des Moines, Iowa, Joseph Richards left for Chicago after high school to pursue a career in art. After serving in the U.S. Navy from 1942 – 1945, he went on to study at the American Academy of Art in Chicago and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. He eventually settled with his wife, Betty, in New York City. In 1969, longtime dealer Ivan Karp opened The OK Harris Gallery on West Broadway in Manhattan’s SoHo. Karp was at the forefront of the Photorealism movement, showing artists such as Duane Hanson and Manny Farber. Joseph Richards opened a solo show in 1982 at OK Harris and would continue to show successfully through the early 2000s. Today, his paintings are found in private and corporate collections here and abroad. The artist spent his last years living in Hillsdale, NY in a house of his own design. It was here that he completed a series of cupola paintings in his early 80s. He described the charm of these subjects as “usually the one bit of whimsy and frivolity displayed in an otherwise austere and functional structure – the American barn.” This exhibit will pull together pristine examples of his painstaking craftmanship that spans three decades.
Bill Sullivan’s sublime use of color exalts the cityscapes of Midtown Manhattan, the mountains and volcanoes of the Colombian and Ecuadorian Andes, and the Hudson River Valley. Inspired by the Luminist painters like Frederic Church, Sanford Gifford, and the painterly realists of the New York School, Sullivan set himself apart in his generation. He translated his own vision of these places into what John Ashbery called “a certain surreality.’ Sullivan weaves abstract passages of gradating color between striated clouds that stretch the length of the horizon. These surreal sky patterns are a recognizable feature in most of his work, a combination of design and color that is otherworldly. Reviewing Sullivan’s retrospective exhibit at the Albany Institute of History and Art in Albany in 2006, Alfred Corn wrote in Art in America, “Comparing these paintings with actual scenes, you see that Sullivan is willing to alter scale and detail so as to make a more coherent picture; realism has to make concessions to design and expression.”
Sullivan was born in New Haven, CT in 1942. As a young man he attended Silvermine College and The University of Pennsylvania studying with Fairfield Porter, Neil Welliver, Jane Freilicher and privately with Josef and Anni Albers. His first solo show of figures and still life paintings was in 1970 at Bowery Gallery, after which he further developed an interest in painting landscapes. Sullivan travelled to South America for several years with partner Jaime Manrique, which resulted in a solo show at Bogota’s Museo de Arte Moderno in 1978. Sullivan returned to New York City where he continued to exhibit his work in various galleries. He eventually moved to Hudson in 2002 until his passing in 2010.
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