Richard Wright, No title, 2015, leaded glass, 181 1/8 × 68 1/2 inches (460 × 174 cm). Photo by Matteo D'Eletto M3 Studio
Richard Wright was born in 1960 in London. He moved to Scotland as a child, where he continues to live and work, based in Glasgow.
Through his unique intricate drawing methods, Wright injects complex works into often overlooked architectural spaces. As he says:
"In the end the position of the work could be half of the work for me. In the first instance the work has the possibility to eaffect or change the way you are drawn through the space it therefore has the potential to reveal the space in a new aspect."
Working predominantly with paint and gold leaf directly on walls, his paintings are often short-lived, only surviving the length of an exhibition, when they are painted over at the end of the show. This serves to heighten the senses of the viewer, in the knowledge that the work may not be viewable again, in any other place, at any other time.
Alongside the works made on walls and ceilings, his works on paper encompass a range of handmade printing practices, ink drawings, gilding and watercolors. In recent years Wright has developed works using leaded glass. They are installed in existing window or skylight apertures to become part of the fabric of the building. Richard’s interventions, whether painted or with glass, shift your perception of the space while viewing the work. As Sofia Karamani commented in her text for the Turner Prize in 2009:
“Wright’s profound understanding of art and its history are reflected in his diverse imagery; minimalist patterns and baroque ornamentations to gothic iconography and typography. His wall paintings can occupy whole rooms, appearing convoluted and extensive, to create a sublime impact. Others, subtle and delicate are awkwardly placed, claiming a modest existence on a ceiling, a cornice, the edge of a wall. As Wright invents alternative spatial arrangements, solid structures can look broken up, reconfigured, or seem transparent and fluid.”
The first solo exhibition of Richard Wright's work took place in 1994 at Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, and since that time Wright has continued to exhibit worldwide, he appeared in Manifesta in Bergamo (2005), the Carnegie International (2008), and “Walk through British Art,” an exhibit spanning 500 years at Tate Britain (2013). He has been commissioned by Crossrail in London to make a large-scale permanent public work for the new Tottenham Court Road station opening in 2018. Other notable exhibitions include those at Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland (2001); Tate Liverpool, England (2001); Dundee Contemporary Art, Scotland (2004); Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, England (2007); Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (2007); Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh (2010); Theseus Temple, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (2013); and Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (2013). He won the Turner Prize in 2009 and is considered one of the central figures in the generation of artists that began to emerge from Glasgow in the 90s.