Artist Jean Richardson is best known for her abstract paintings of horses. An Oklahoma native, Richardson fuses her deep interest in western “myth” with a contemporary vocabulary of modern painting. The horse is one of the most important figures in western mythology. Believed to be the only creature capable of moving between heaven and earth, the horse commands Richardson’s canvases.
Straddling the line between figurative and abstract, the equine images emerge and sink away within the canvases as they are compiled only of sweeping and gestural brushstrokes of rich jewel tones and earthen hues. In fact, the horses are almost hidden in the explosion of brushstrokes that take over her compositions.
In Turning Towards Home: The Art of Jean Richardson, Joan Carpenter Troccoli, Deputy Directory of the Denver Art Museum, states, “works of the present decade mark Richardson’s literal and artistic return to her ancestral homeland and derive inspiration from its physical forces, especially the wind, skies, clouds, and expanses of terrain that are integral to this landscape and the lives of its inhabitants.”
Jean Richardson is in numerous public collections including the Oklahoma Supreme Court Building and has been exhibited at The National Academy of Design, The Minnesota Museum of Art, The Gilcrease Museum and the Philbrook Museum.
“The image of the horse is the perfect vehicle to express my true subjects; motion and energy. The horse as a real being is lovely in itself and I enjoy the power, the speed, and the physical beauty of the animal. My paintings, however, take this real creature and make it a symbol. The horse as a metaphor for the human spirit; unbridled, striving sometimes heroic, often restless, full of energy, floating above us, calling us to other realms.
I propose that this is not a new theme. Every culture has had at the center of its stories about itself a mythical figure of the horse. From the incredible images of the walls of prehistoric caves, to the tales of Norse mythology, to the modern play “Equus”, the horse has been powerfully represented in the arts. In this tradition, but in the contemporary vocabulary of twentieth century painting, I have tried to explore my subject and find therein my own emotional response.”
Born in Hollis, Oklahoma
B. F. A. Wesleyan College, Macon, Georgia
Art Students League, New York, New York
Books and Monographs:
Turning Toward Home: The Art of Jean Richardson by Dr. Joan Carpenter Troccoli, Denver Art Museum, published by John Szoke Graphics, New York, New York, 1998
Plains Myths and Other Tales - A catalog of Jean Richardson paintings published by John Szoke Graphics, New York, New York, 1988
Equine Images- Feature Article Summer 1990
Santa Fean - Cover Features November 1987 & January-February 1984, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Western Art Digest - Feature Article January-February 1986
Southwest Profile - Feature Article May-June 1985
Art Gallery Magazine - Feature Article February-March 1985
River City - Anthology of Art and Poetry - University of Memphis - Summer 2004
- Featured Article - May 2008
American Art Collector Magazine - Feb 2010
Who's Who in American Art, Who's Who in the South and Southwest
Small Works Exhibition, Thomas Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Collection of Oklahoma Artists, State of Oklahoma
Minnesota Museum of Art "West 80" Exhibition
"Oklahoma Annual" Exhibition, Philbrook Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma
National Academy of Design
Bravo Colorado - Cover Artist/Colorado Summer Music Festival 1992
Oklahoma State Arts Council 2003-2006
Featured Artist National Bank of Commerce Artist Series - 2006
Featured on Public Television Series "Gallery" - April 2009
Newbury Fine Arts, Boston ,MA
John Szoke Gallery, New York, New York
Merrill-Chase Galleries, Washington, D.C. & Chicago
Cogswell Gallery, Vail, Colorado
J. F. Fine Arts, Scottsdale, Arizona
Kneeland Gallery, Sun Valley, Idaho
Lucas Gallery, Telluride, Colorado
Editions Limited, Indianapolis, Indiana
Ventana Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Pickard Gallery, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Rice Gallery, Denver, Colorado
State Capitol of Oklahoma, Governor's Gallery
The Bank of Santa Fe, New Mexico
University of Oklahoma College of Law, Norman, Oklahoma
Southwestern Bell, Washington, D.C.
Phillips Petroleum Corporation, Washington, D.C.
Arthur Anderson Companies, St. Charles, Illinois
Marriott Hotels Corporation, Washington, D.C.
State Collection of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
AT&T, San Ramon, California
Yellow Freight, Kansas City, Missouri
Raymond James Financial, Inc., St. Petersburg, Florida
Dean A. McGee Eye Institute, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
Tupperware Corporation, Orlando, Florida
Oklahoma University School of Law