|DATES:||New Zealand 1974|
|MEDIUM:||Oil on board|
|SIZE:||43 x 69 cm|
Initialled lower left
Simon Richardson was born in Gore in 1974. He studied at the Otago School of Art and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1996. Since then he has been a full time artist.
In 1998 Richardson received the Elizabeth Greenshield Award. This is a prestigious $10,000 grant from the Canadian institution to aid young artists at the beginning of their careers, which enabled Richardson to spend time studying in Europe. On his return to New Zealand he took up a job teaching drawing to international students at the University of Otago. In 2000 Richardson held his first solo exhibition in Dunedin. Following the success of this, he travelled overseas to study European painting.
Whilst still at art school, Richardson was often criticised for his lack of contemporary approach with his painting. His highly detailed brushwork, even then, could have been likened to the Spanish realist paintings of the early 20th century. In contrast with his fellow studentsí more radical approach to art, Richardson ignored the art school fashions and developed his own signature style of realist painting. Leading Otago landscape artist Grahame Sydney has been an important influence to Richardson. Sydney mentored Richardson, encouraging him to paint in a traditional way when realism was viewed as outdated.
Richardsonís fascination with textural and intricate detail and the mundane everyday object are the fundamental characteristics of his work. When looking at the stylistic genre Richardson employs, one is likely to put him within the same category as artists like the Spanish realist painter, Antonio Lopez-Garcia, and his friend and mentor Grahame Sydney.
Richardsonís passion for depicting the natural and the figurative can be seen in works such as Hone Tuwhare, the portrait of New Zealandís literary great. The poetís response to Richardsonís finished portrait was: ĎYou beauty. Itís honest. You didnít try to glamorise me. Good on ya, mate.í Richardson has achieved many awards throughout his career. These include three Elizabeth Greenshield Foundation awards, an honour only 48 other people have received; finalist in the Wallace Awards; finalist in the Adam Portraiture Award; winner of the Mainland award; and a scholarship from The New York Academy of Art.
Most recently Richardson has been commissioned to paint the Civic Portrait of the Mayor of Dunedin, Peter Chin, which will be hung on the council chamber walls. Richardsonís works are held in many important collections, including the Eastern Southland Museum in Gore who purchased his portrait of Hone Tuwhare.
|Jonathan Grant Galleries Ltd
280 Parnell Rd, Parnell, Auckland, New Zealand.
Telephone +64-9-308 9125 Email firstname.lastname@example.org