A R T I S T G A L L E R Y
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R. Douglass Rice
I have been an artist for over thirty-five years. I began my career in San Francisco using inexpensive materials such as house paint, plywood and tar paper. Currently I paint in oil, make large scale outdoor sculpture in wood and metal, and do assemblage and collage. I studied art at Stanford University, the Mendocino Art Center, San Francisco State University and the School for Visual Arts in New York.
Much of my work has been done in collaboration with other artists. Sonoko Sugiyama, a Japanese artist, and I collaborated for eight years. We developed a series of drawings, paintings and photo collages, using our own bodies as templates for creating abstract images. This body of work, called “Bodies on the Line,” was exhibited twice at the National Arts Club, as well as the gallery in the offices of the architect, Steven Harris, in New York. The series challenged traditional roles between the artist and the model. The charcoal tracings of our bodies on canvas became vivid abstract paintings, painted by both of us. The work is based on figurative drawings but ends up as abstract paintings.
The photographer, David Katzenstein, and I recently completed a portrait series called, “The Alexander Avenue Series,” portraying my neighbors in the South Bronx where my former studio was located. I created thickly painted and brightly colored oil portraits of each of them, using David’s telling photographs as a starting point. The work is exhibited side by side.
My collage work uses found images from newspapers, items from the street and currencies from around the world. I view this work as an “anonymous collaboration” with the various graphic artists who originally created the source material for the collages. By ripping and cutting their images and reassembling them I enter into a dialogue with their original visions.
My influences are wide: artists such as Picasso, Calder, Nevelson, Neel, Bacon and Freud have all informed my vision.