Richard Estes

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About Richard Estes

Richard Estes was born in 1936 in Kewanee, Illinois. He is an American painter who is best known for his photorealistic paintings and is regarded as one of the founders of the international photo-realist movement of the late 1960s. Estes moved to New York City in 1956 after he completed his BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Over the next decade, he worked as a graphic designer for various publishing and advertising agencies and painted in his spare time. In 1966, he left his day job and devoted himself full-time to painting. Most of Richard’s paintings from the early 1960s are of city dwellers engaged in everyday activities. Beginning around 1967, Richard began to paint storefronts and buildings with glass windows, and, more importantly, the reflected images shown on these windows. The paintings were based on color photographs he took which trapped the evanescent nature of the reflections. In 1971, he began to collaborate with Edition Domberger in Stuttgart, Germany, working closely with master printers on a highly sophisticated screenprinting process. Over two decades, Estes and Domberger collaborated on dozens of complex screenprint editions. Estes received his first solo exhibition in 1968 at the Allan Stone Gallery, New York, where he had five solo exhibitions through the early 1980s. Other solo exhibitions have been held at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Isetan Museum of Art, Tokyo; Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University; FIAC Foire internationale d’art contemporain, Grand Palais, Paris; and Palazzo Magnani, Reggio Emilia, Italy.