April 2, 2019
Press Release - Lester Rapaport: Convergence


May 11 through June 8, 2019

OPENING RECEPTION: Saturday, May 11 from 4:00 to 7:00 PM

David Richard Gallery, LLC

211 East 121 ST | New York, NY 10035
P: (212) 882-1705

David Richard Gallery is pleased to present Convergence, an exhibition of paintings by New York artist Lester Rapaport that utilize a similar motif and approach to explore very different compositions inspired by different internal forces. These two series of paintings were realized over 30 years apart from one another. This is Rapaport’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. The presentation will be on view from May 11 through June 8, 2019 with an opening reception Saturday, May 11 from 4:00 to 7:00 PM on the Second Floor exhibition space at 211 East 121 ST, New York, NY 10035. Please contact the gallery at info@DavidRichardGallery.com or call 212-882-1705 for additional information.

The paintings in this exhibition fall roughly into 2 series. The first, from a body of work created in 1980 and 1981 that Rapaport refers to as the Convergence series. The second series is entitled, A New Chapter and was created during the years 2014 through 2018. The common motif that ties the paintings together is a pour of paint that creates a single broken band of color centrally located on the canvas on either solid color grounds or pillow-soft, ethereal sprays of diffused paint. The bands of color range from a single or up to three or four colors poured adjacent to, or on top of one another.

The earlier Convergence series marked the artist’s return to painting large abstract works following a decade of difficult years in his life. The compositions fill the square canvases with four pours of the same width and color of paint that initiate and radiate from the center on a solid ground color to create a thick structure that divides the canvas into quadrants. They are grounded and structured by design to create bold and dynamic statements that read as a painterly, geometric composition. Rapaport has said in his writing that the paintings are pure abstractions created in the moment and did not reference anything in particular from the prior decade. However, he later realized that subconsciously, the series had been more of a cathartic release than initially thought.

The more recent series, A New Chapter, come out of years of Rapaport’s meditation practice and soul searching and as the title suggests, a look forward. They are more reductive and open with a single poured band of paint in the center of the canvas with one or more circles of color placed on one or both sides of the pour in different locations situated on a mottled, softly-hued ground. The paintings evoke meditation centers and Tantric painting with the isolated shapes of saturated color on an open ground. Rapaport’s current paintings come out of meditation and spiritual reflection, not as a direct commentary on anything in particular, but as his response to personal emotions as well as frustrations with current cultural and political turmoil.

About Lester Rapaport:
Rapaport (b. 1947), born and raised in New York City, earned his BFA in 1969 and pursued graduate studies at Hunter College. Initially trained and concentrated on figurative painting and drawing, by the late 1960s he switched entirely to abstract painting. The 1970s were a bit of a lost decade for the artist due to health issues and other personal matters. However, he reemerged in the early 1980s and has consistently produced challenging and inter-related series of abstract artworks that he has exhibited mostly in and around New York. His strongest affiliations have been with Westbroadway Gallery in New York and Sideshow Gallery in Brooklyn.

About David Richard Gallery:
Since its inception in 2010, David Richard Gallery has produced museum quality exhibitions that feature Post War abstraction in the US. The presentations have addressed specific decades and geographies as well as certain movements and tendencies. While the gallery has long been recognized as an important proponent of post-1960s abstraction—including both the influential pioneers as well as a younger generation of practitioners in this field— in keeping with this spirit of nurture and development the gallery also presents established artists who embrace more gestural and representational approaches to the making of art as well as young emerging artists.

In 2015 David Richard Gallery launched DR Art Projects to provide a platform for artists of all stripes—international, national, local, emerging and established—to present special solo projects or to participate in unique collaborations or thematic exhibitions. The goal is to offer a fresh look at contemporary art practice from a broad spectrum of artists and presentations. The Gallery opened its current location in New York in 2017.

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January 17, 2017
Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts
J. Willard Marriott Library
The University of Utah, 01/17/2017

The University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library will host the art exhibition Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts, Jan. 20-March 3.

Artnauts, an art collective formed 20 years ago by George Rivera, professor of art and art history at the University of Colorado, Boulder, consists of 300 global artists who serve as goodwill ambassadors, acknowledging and supporting victims of oppression worldwide. Their creativity has generated over 230 exhibitions across five continents. Five faculty members from the U’s Department of Art and Art History are members of the collective, Sandy Brunvand, Beth Krensky, V. Kim Martinez, Brian Snapp and Xi Zhang.

Globalocation derives from “Globalocational Art” — a concept used by the Artnauts to refer to their exhibitions in international venues. It is the mission of the Artnauts to take art to places of contention, and this anniversary exhibition is a sample of places where they have been and themes they have addressed.

“The Artnauts could not exist without the commitment of the artists in the collective to a common vision of the transformative power of art,” said Rivera. “The Artnauts make their contribution with art that hopefully generates a dialogue with an international community on subjects that are sometimes difficult to raise.”

Krensky, associate department chair of the Art and Art History Department, had the opportunity to travel with Rivera in Chile as part of an Artnauts project, working with mothers who were searching for their children who had mysteriously disappeared during a time of political unrest.

“When I travelled to Chile in 1998, George and I spent an afternoon with the Mothers of the Disappeared, and the meeting changed my life,” said Krensky. “It was from that moment on that I placed a picture of them on my desk to look at every day. I was so moved by what they each had lost — a son, a brother, a father — and yet what remained for them was a deep, deep well of love. They were fierce warriors and stood up to the government to demand the whereabouts and information of the people who had disappeared, but they lived within profound love.”

The 20th anniversary exhibition at the Marriott Library is a retrospective of the traveling works the Artnauts have toured around the globe. The exhibition will be located on level three of the library. The opening reception is open to the public and will be held on Friday, Jan 20, 4-6 p.m. Rivera will speak at 4 p.m.

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