Upcoming Exhibition

July 1, 2017
September 10, 2017
In the wing gallery

Following service as an army explosives driver during World War II, Robert Richenburg (1917–2006) moved to New York in 1947, where he met Willem de Kooning and many other abstract expressionist artists. Richenburg was soon a regular participant of the Artists’ Club on East 8th Street, an important place where de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, musicians like John Cage, and many others socialized. By the late 1950s Richenburg was at the height of his fame as a painter of the New York School, exhibiting most famously alongside Pollock and de Kooning at the 1951 9th Street Show.

A gifted and encouraging teacher at the Pratt Institute, Richenburg’s open-minded approach of allowing his students to explore their own paths led to an academic freedom dispute with the administration—and his resigning in protest. He moved his family to Ithaca where he taught and worked for the remainder of his career, first at Cornell and later at Ithaca College. 

Richenburg wrote, “For me the city at night is a vast graveyard of illuminated stones. . . . If the decoration comes in at all, I hope that it comes in as it does in the early stained glass windows which were made to adorn a cathedral.” 

The exhibition focuses on Richenburg’s art from the 1940s to the late ’60s and will include paintings, works on paper, and sculpture. It is held in memory of David Findlay, Jr. (1933–2015), Class of 1956.

This exhibition was curated by Stephanie Wiles, the Richard J. Schwartz Director of the Johnson Museum.