Richard Hull

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Night and Day
Richard Hull

1709 W Chicago Ave.
60622 Chicago
March 26th, 2010 - May 1st, 2010

West Loop/West Town
Tue-Sat 11-6


Western Exhibitions is thrilled to present its first solo show with the renowned painter RICHARD HULL on March 26 with a public reception from 5 to 8pm. Western Exhibitions’ Galley 1 will be devoted to paintings and in Gallery 2, Hull will show one large charcoal drawing of a concentrically repetitive amoeba-like form, two crayon drawings and two watercolors featuring imagery related to his Klein bottle inside/outside concerns.

Richard Hull's new works explore spatial relationships, both metaphorically and formally, between the geometric dualities of empty and full spaces. The prevalent imagery, a biomorphic shape that resembles a horse's tail, or when doubled and combined, a Möbius strip, or a Klein bottle*, gives viewers the visual sensation of being simultaneously located both inside and out. Reverberating concentric lines inside the primary shapes allude to movement and connectivity, and can be thought of as pathways, highways or circulatory systems. Inside these pulsating pathways are several series of dots, ellipses, concentric squares, and other diagrammatic marks that the artist thinks of as architectural, almost like apartment complexes.

Eyeball-like images crop up in several works, perhaps alluding to the artist's partial vision in one eye. Another painting references Sisyphus and his repetitive action of pushing a boulder up a mountain, Hull's concentric and reverberating rings make an apt visual metaphor for the energy Sisyphus expended.

The architectural details are reminiscent of Hull's most well-known works that often depict abstracted interiors or house shapes. In this new body of work, Hull inverts his interest in interiority, sublimating it inside these coursing concentric highways embedded within biomorphic forms. Given his interest in the dialogue between empty and full spaces, Hull has now turned his painting practice almost inside out, whereas the shapes in each painting maintain this reciprocal dialogue and the body of work as whole starts a conversation with preceding works. Past works nurtured a dark and introspective mood; current paintings look out as much as they look in. Past works kept to a earth-toned palette and heavily worked surfaces; bright, directly applied high-keyed color now plays the prominent role. In Hull words, “color has become its own entity.”

* The Klein bottle is a non-orientable surface (a two-dimensional manifold) with no identifiable "inner" and "outer" sides.

Richard Hull is now represented by Western Exhibitions. His work is in the collections of several museums including The Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The Smithsonian Museum, Washington D.C.; Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and The Smart Museum, Chicago. He has exhibited his work at The Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City; The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT; Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, OH; Portland Art Museum, OR; The Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, OH; Herron Gallery of Art, Indianapolis, IN; Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI; Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Evanston IL; and The Painting Center, New York, NY. He joined the legendary Phyllis Kind Gallery upon graduating from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago in 1979 and had numerous shows in both her New York City and Chicago locations. Hull lives and works in Chicago and teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.