Roberta Richman lives and works in her studio in Peace Dale, Rhode Island. She is a founding member of Hera Gallery and has been a member since 1974. After many years of interrupted work she is now back full time to her studio work. Richman began her training as an undergraduate at Brooklyn College where she studied with Ad Rhinehardt and Jimmy Ernst. She worked at the Pratt Graphic Art Center in Manhattan for several years before entering the MFA program in printmaking at Indiana University where she studied etching with Rudy Pozzatti. Her early work consists of black and white etchings abstractions based landscape. During the mid 80s, she gradually moved to painting as her primary medium, using oil sticks on paper glued to canvas. Recent work is still landscape based but is increasingly abstract.
Landscape has inspired my work for as long as I can remember. Looking at horizons, fields, marshland, dunes and beginning new work with a particular place in mind is how I have always moved from a white sheet of paper to the first of many stages of the original image. My affinity to natural landscape has not changed but over time, my expression of it has. All of the work, although it starts as a particular landscape, quickly becomes the vision of my imagination. In my most recent group of paintings architectural columns have begun to assert themselves. They diagonally overlap and in most cases, overcome, the initial serenity of a painting. Horizontal color fields become agitated and slashes of black architectural elements interrupt the surface.
These paintings are the equivalents of observed natural reality re-imagined by repetitive versions in an almost unconscious fashion. In the past I was able to imagine an image and work toward achieving it. Now I don't know in the beginning, what a painting will become. I have been making art for many decades but with long interruptions. Now I am able to work more regularly, to come back to a painting daily and watch it gradually emerge into what it finally becomes. The end is usually a surprise to me and seldom what I intended. Although I carry the image of landscape in my mind, art and nature are not the same. I make no effort to replicate nature in art.