Richard Estes

Recent Work

Oct 22 — Nov 25, 2014
New York, Uptown

Marlborough is pleased to announce an exhibition of recent paintings by the American master, Richard Estes. The exhibiton will be comprised of twenty oils painted over the past two years. The exhibition represents an important moment in the career of the artist, as the most comprehensive retrospective exhibition on his work, Estes’ Realism, organized by The Portland Museum of Art in Maine and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C., is currently underway and will continue through February of 2015.

Richard Estes is widely considered to be the pioneer and master of American Photorealism. Beyond the discipline of attaining an uncanny sense of verisimilitude, Estes accomplishes a profound reinvention of the image. The renowned cityscapes of the artist, works such as 79th Street Bus Stop, 2013, are often constituted by a complex system of intertwined perspectives that are achieved through the use of reflection and refraction, a characteristic aspect of his work. This system of perspectives, along with a distinct usage of cropping, distills the artist’s gesture and sense of invention. Much of the faint reflection seen through translucent glass cannot be attributed to the photographic image per se, but to the aesthetic discretion of the artist. These are surfaces characterized by striking values, an altogether tonal richness that engenders a magnetic presence.

Apart from the New York cityscapes, the show will also display Estes’ image of Antarctica, which further elucidate his pervasive interest in multifaceted surfaces. In Antarctica II, 2013, the rendering of water yet again captures a gestural sense of invention that transcends the photographic image; this is a visual translation of a reality that morphs into an image. While the ostensible subject is reality, the work of Richard Estes is, as art historian Linda Nochlin has stated, “Concerned with conveying the non-coincidence of tactile and visual reality” or, to put it a different way, as the curator Patterson Sims writes:

Estes reveals and revels in a world hidden in plain sight. His highly detailed works inspire and reward being regarded at the long tradtion and history of representational painting he deploys his exceptional skills to turn his observations into revelations.

Marlborough Gallery has represented Richard Ested for over 20 years. His work can be found in many public collections, including: Académie Française, Paris, France; The Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; Des Moines Art Center, Iowa; Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Modern Art, Kansas City, Missouri; Neue Galerie der Stadt Aachen, Ludwig Collection, Aachen, Germany; Teheran Museum of Contemporary Art, Iran; Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Estes was born in Kewanee, Illionois in 1932. From 1952 to 1956 he studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. He moved to New York in 1959 and had his first New York show in 1967 at the Allan Stone Gallery. In 1996 he was awarded the MECA Award for Achievement as a Visual Artist at the Maine College of Art in Portland. A retrospective of the artist’s work, Richard Estes: The Sensuousness of the Real, was held in 2007 at Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid and Palazzo Magnani, Reggio Emilia, Italy. The artist currently lives and works in New York and Maine.

A fully illustrated catalogue will be available at the time of the exhibition.


Estes, antarctica iv, 2013, oil on board, 16 x 34 3 4 in, non 53894
Antarctica IV, 2013, oil on board, 16 × 34 3/4 in., 40.6 × 88.3 cm
Estes, antarctica i, 2013, oil on board, 14 3 4 x 20 in, non 53891
Antarctica I, 2013, oil on board, 14 3/4 × 20 in., 37.5 × 50.8 cm
Estes, antarctica ii, 2013, oil on board, 16 3 4 x 22 3 4 in, non 53892
Antarctica II, 2013, oil on board, 16 3/4 × 22 3/4 in., 42.5 × 57.8 cm
Estes, 79th street bus stop, 2013, oil on board, 22 x 14 3 4 in, non 53889
79th Street Bus Stop, 2013 oil on panel 22 x 14 3/4 in.
Estes, bakery, 2013, oil on board, 13 x 19 1 8 in, non 53888
Bakery, 2013, oil on panel, 13 × 19 1/8 in., 33 × 48.6 cm
Estes, crumbs, 2014, oil on panel, 18 x 24 in, non 54459
Crumbs, 2014, oil on panel, 18 × 24 in., 45.7 × 61 cm
Estes, fries soda,2014,oil on board,14 1 4 x 22 1 4,non55.526
Fries-Soda, 2014, oil on board, 14 1/4 × 22 1/4 in., 36.2 × 56.5 cm