Self-portrait With Hammer, archival pigment print, 2014
Filmnap, acrylic on pieced canvas, 1968. Included in the Hotel Henry survey.
Sympathy For the Devil, acrylic on pieced canvas, 1972. Included in Hotel Henry survey.
Richard Huntington is a painter and printmaker who deals in a host of borrowed, if not outrightly pirated, images that he uses either whole or piecemeal to build what he hopes are lively, somewhat satirical, always ironic, hybrid works. His technical trajectory is wide: he paints, draws, collages, prints, enlists the wonders of Photoshop, sometimes all on the same piece. He isn’t what you would call a methodical worker. He puts it together, takes it apart, and then puts it together again. Endless reworking, juggling and revising is his chief working method.
In a museum "intervention" organized by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery for the wide-ranging show, Beyond/In Western New York 2010: Alternating Currents, his paintings appeared alongside those of Willem de Kooning and Roy Lichtenstein, among other American greats. One of these paintings, Zimzum, a parody of Abstract Expressionism generally and de Kooning in particular, was featured on the cover of Art Daily, the online art magazine. In the show it was hung adjacent to one of de Kooning's unparalleled masterpieces, Gotham News. Across the way was Jackson Pollock‘s great Convergence. It was, the artist says, a situation that would humble the mightiest among us.
Huntington's work was included in the Benjamans Contemporary Gallery's wide-ranging exhibition Reverberation (Buffalo, 2014). Among his recent solo exhibitions is RE-MIXico: Prints and Paintings on Mexican Themes, Casa de Arte, (Buffalo, 2014), an extension and elaboration of the earlier Spanish Lesson of 2009 held at the Albright-Knox Collectors’ Gallery. About RE-MIXico, reviewer Brooke Leboeuf wrote that Huntington’s “combinations result in sophisticated yet hilarious works with wonderfully absurd titles such as I was a Teeny-Bopper for Diego Rivera, a work in which bold fields of color overlay text that surrounds a shapely pair of bare female legs in midstride…[It] is a riotous example of his keen sensibility for manipulating ready-made sources and turning them into something fresh and new.”
In 2019 his abstractions from the '60s and '70s were shown in a comprehensive survey of this artist's early career at the expansive galleries in Buffalo's Hotel Henry, a recent renovation of the famous Henry Hobson Richardson 19th century complex (then called Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane). (See examples of these early paintings to the left.)
Other shows included Cottage Industry, a serious spoof of the sentimental art of Thomas Kinkade, Indigo Art, Buffalo (2013); and Thus I Passe By: Selections from 1970-2008, Castellani Art Museum, Lewiston, NY (2008-2009), a generous sampling of Huntington’s art as it took various twists and turns over three-decades.
His work has been shown internationally in a group exhibition at Yorkshire College, Yorkshire, Great Britain, as part of an international conference on outdoor sculpture parks (1983); and in a solo exhibition, Richard Huntington: Halo By Mondrian, at the JR Konstallen gallery in Linkoping, Sweden (2007). His work is in the collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Burchfield Penney Art Center and in a number of distinguished private collections.
Huntington is also a writer and critic. He served as the art critic for The Buffalo News from 1985 to 2007 where he wrote a broad range of reviews and critical articles on regional, national and international exhibitions. In 2007, he won the Associated Press First Award for Criticism for a review that challenged Georgia O‘Keeffe‘s status in American art. As both a critic and artist, he was invited to be part of the well-received exhibition Drawing Conclusions at the New York Gallery in Manhattan (2004), a show that coupled critics' visual art with their written reviews. He is the author of a novel called "An Art Critic Walks Into A Bar" and a related series of short stories (featuring the same protagonist) called " 8 Dead Or Otherwise Forgotten Artists."
Huntington has had numerous residencies over the years, among them Visiting Critic at the Kennedy Center for the Arts, Washington, D.C. (1994). He was also a contributing reviewer for such publications as High Performance Magazine, ARTnews, and Art New England.
From 1982 to 1985, Huntington was the Visual Arts Director at Artpark, a public sculpture park in Lewiston, NY. It was under his directorship that the late Vito Acconci made his first major public sculpture and Chris Burden created Beam Drop, a daring application of chance actions to monumental sculpture that has since been reenacted by the artist here and in Europe..
Huntington is the author of a number of catalog essays, including “Jackie Felix: Stories Only Half-told,” for the retrospective exhibition, Storyboard: The Sexual Politics of Jackie Felix, held at the Burchfield Penney Art Center (2012); “Falling Beams, Exploding Heads: Looking Back at Artpark, 1982-1985,” for Artpark:1974-1984, an exhibition at the University at Buffalo Art Galleries, Buffalo (2010); and Duayne Hatchet: Form, Pattern and Invention, for a retrospective exhibition at the Burchfield Penney (2009).
Huntington holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Syracuse University and a Master of Art and Humanities from State University of New York at Buffalo.
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