Richard Fleischner was born in New York in 1944. He received a BFA and MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. As a sculptor, painter, installation artist, and furniture maker, Fleischner began working environmentally in the 1960s. His landscapes and large-scale public sculpture emphasize the relationship of man-made architecture and the natural world. The maze, the corridor, the box, and the field are all cultural elements that have figured in Fleischner’s work; these elements are utilized in combination with and in contrast to features in the natural environment such as trees, hills, sod, and other plants. Fleischner's environments have been constructed in numerous public and private sites, and his drawings and complex, textured paintings are also widely collected.
Fleischner's awards include the Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts; the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award; three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships (1974, 1980, 1990); grants from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the National Institute of Arts and Letters; and the Governor’s Award for the Arts, Rhode Island (1986). His site-specific installations have included: Sod Maze, for the exhibition Monumenta, installed at Château-sur-Mer in Newport, Rhode Island (1974); Floating Square, installed at Documenta 6 in Kassel, Germany (1977); and the La Jolla Project (begun 1982) in the Stuart Collection, University of California, San Diego in La Jolla. MIT’s List Visual Arts Center, designed in 1985 by I.M. Pei, includes public works by Scott Burton, Kenneth Noland, and Richard Fleischner, who designed the plaza.
Richard Fleischner lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island.