Case Study No. 19. Wood, cast bronze, rubber, and paint, by John Richardson. 2011. (Photos courtesy Finlandia University)
An opening reception for the artist will take place at the gallery from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20. The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
John Richardson’s sculpture has been described as a "visual koan," a visual Zen Buddhist riddle. Although he did not arrive at this description himself, the portrayal captures Richardson’s propensity to shift perceptions of how one views reality.
"At my best, I hope to create a sculpture that shifts perceptions of other objects in the world, even if only very slightly; a sculpture that is both interdependent and independent of me," says Richardson.
Richardson’s sculptures challenge conventional notions of reality by introducing forms that cannot be regarded as seamless components of ordinary experience. His work then becomes a metaphor for principles of reality that reach beyond the interests of a single artist.
Richardson works in a variety of media, including cast and welded metals, rubber, glass, wood, plastic, and stone. His sculpture explores the contemporary experience of space as it is influenced by the predominance of mediated images, screens, and communication technologies.
Case Study No. 22. Cast bronze with patina, plastic, and wood (oak) with paint, by John Richardson. 2012.
"My sculpture often exists fully in space, in contrast to a traditional relief sculpture that adorns an architectural surface," notes Richardson. "Unlike a traditional relief, my art has at least two dominant sides, although it is compacted as if in two-and-a-half dimensions, rather than fully embodied in three."
Richardson has participated in more than 50 national group exhibitions, most recently in summer 2012 at the Causey Contemporary Gallery, New York City. His numerous solo shows include the University of Minnesota-Morris in March 2012.
Richardson’s work is held in numerous private and public collections, including the Michigan Legacy Art Park, Thompsonville; Xiadu Park, Yanqing, China; the Open Air Museum of Steel Sculpture, Coalbrookdale, England; and the Lumsden School, Lumsden, Scotland.
Richardson earned master of arts and master of fine arts degrees in sculpture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a bachelor of arts from the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma,Wash. He teaches at Wayne State University, Detroit, where he is the area coordinator for sculpture and chair of the department.
The Finlandia University Gallery is in the Finnish American Heritage Center, 435 Quincy Street, Hancock. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Thursday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., or by appointment.