HIGHLIGHT is pleased to present “new paintings and not so new” by the American poet and painter Rene Ricard. In this exhibition, numerous works created over the past decade by Ricard are presented. The paintings consist of oil on linen with hand-painted poems in Ricard’s signature font over “poison green” canvasses and over figurative paintings taking inspiraton from various photographic sources. Many of the paintings are stylistically neoclassical and, when combined with the poetry, they are at once humorous, witty, historical, confessional and evocative.
Ricard has served as mentor, muse, inspiration and critic for the New York City art scene for the past four decades. He has been one of America’s most controversial arbiters of taste. He was a leading figure of Andy Warhol’s Factory, appearing in such Warhol classics as the “The Kitchen” and “Chelsea Girls.” He is also an accomplished poet, with several volumes in his name including the DIA Art Foundations inaugural publishing, “Rene Ricard 1979-1980.” In 1981, he wrote the cover article “Radiant Child” in Art Forum magazine, and he since then has been credited in helping Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring transform from underground figures to art stars. Since the 1980′s, Ricard has been the subject of paintings, photographs and films by Francesco Clemente, Julian Schnabel, Nan Goldin, David Armstrong and Dash Snow.
Rene Ricard (b. 1946) lives and works in New York City. He has had solo exhibitions at Petersberg Press (New York, 1990), The Chelsea Hotel (New York, 2002), Cheim and Read (New York, 2003), Dinter Fine Art (Hudson, NY, 2004), Scream Gallery (London, 2008), Half Gallery (New York, 2009), Vito Schnabel Gallery (New York, 2011), Vito Schnabel Gallery (Los Angeles, 2012). His work is in the permanent collections of the British Museum, The Museum of Modern Art, the collection of Brice and Helen Marden, Francesco Clemente, Jacqueline Schnabel and numerous other private collections.