Todd Bradford Richmond
January 22 to February 1, 2017
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 28, 3-6pm
Todd Bradford Richmond makes paintings, installations, films and music compositions. His practice encompasses an ongoing conversation across mediums and employs diverse materials and modes, exchanging language and concepts between genres. His practice draws upon nature, form, composition and the kinetic that is informed by his lifelong interests in painting, music, dance, film, architecture, agriculture and the environment.
Richmond’s large format paintings, presented as experiential and architectural installations, encompass the viewer creating a physically altered environment. Lit with LED lights and lasers the work is illuminated subtly using light as a medium, often muting painterly attributes, leading the viewer to contemplation beyond artistic craft. Simplifying form to convey an idea, Richmond paints based on the essential where a brushstroke suggests a branch. Richmond's paintings, usually absent the human form, often highlight nature as subject and frequently portray homage to painting through a historic path of artistic inquiry. Using trees and forests for subjects Richmond in his own painting style, derives choreographic compositions from nature where trees seem allegorically posed amid kinetic motion.
The installation “Forêt Noire” exists in a contained space sectioned off using clear vinyl and aluminum radiant barrier. With its own atmosphere or “haze”, “Forêt Noire” incorporates blue lasers, LEDs, "Dark Forest” 9' by 14' painting oil on canvas and "Negative Forest" 9' by 14' vinyl. The blue lasers create an experiential forest of light that can be walked through while simultaneously illuminating “Dark Forest and “Negative Forest”.
"Dark Forest” seen inside the installation “Forêt Noire” is fundamentally grayscale in palette and investigates the inner voice of the unknown and uncertain, experientially placing the viewer as if standing within a dark forest where enigmatic light illuminates silhouetted trees. "Dark Forest" is a work on multiple sectional canvases of 40 20” x 20” canvases attached in columns that form panels. Each panel is combined with other panels to form a complete work. Richmond has selected several sections of the panels to duplicate as a “detail” - scaled to double its original size or 40” x 40” - existing on their own as “solos”. The solos zoom into a section of the painting forming their own compositions. One can also zoom out from a painted detail and explore how a solo painting or detail fits into a broader composition.
The second work entitled "Negative Forest" also seen inside the installation “Forêt Noire” is derived directly from "Dark Forest", a negative of the original painting made into a negative photo reproduction on vinyl 9’ x 15’. This work explores materiality, color, tone and composition inviting the audience to compare the inverse with the original painting, side by side.
The third forest also derived from "Dark Forest" is a colorful lively painted rendition, or improvisation, entitled "Painted Forest" oil on canvas 9' x 14'. The panels of "Painted Forest" are interspersed and rearranged spread across the entire wall space allowing for strong perceptual divisions of composition. "Painted Forest" plays with tone and technique, intermixing painting faux pas, styles and modes such as pictorial and abstract, flat and dimensional. Structurally similar to “Dark Forest”, "Painted Forest" also contains scaled reproduced sections taken from the larger work or "solos".