JERNIGAN WICKERFINE ARTS

Artists

Richard Vosseller
Artist Biographical Information

Born

Portsmouth, Virginia, 1972

Education

2001 MFA San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
1995 BFA Maryland Institute, College of Art, Baltimore, MD

Selected Exhibitions Solo

2001 Richard Vosseller, Jernigan Wicker Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA

Group

2000 Toronto International Art Exhibition with Jernigan Wicker Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA
San Francisco International Exhibition with Jernigan Wicker Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA
Abstract Art, Jernigan Wicker Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA
Jon Collis, Richard Vosseller, 731 Market St., San Francisco, CA
1999 Emerge, The Whole Gallery, Baltimore, MD

Selected Private Collections

Robin & Leonard Eber Meg & Robert Harmon

Related Experience

1997-1998 Assistant to sculptor Mihai Popa, Long Island

ESSAY

It is often said that the vitality of any tradition can be measured by how long it sustains itself. This truism is dramatically born out in Dick Vosseller's urgent and sumptuous paintings, which breath fresh life into the long-standing practice of Bay Area Figurative Painting, at once doing it great honor while simultaneously extending its trademark stylistics toward a unique and up-to-date psychological realism.

Even as Vosseller's muscular slatherings of luscious pigment are richly saturated with an impassioned enthusiasm for the experiential particulars of a specific time and place, his sullen protagonists tend to not be quite so sure of their moment or the role which it is asking them to play. Their pointedly unflamboyant garb and the furtive stoicism of their body language combines with their quizzical facial expressions to speak volumes about their effort to forestall some kind of unmentionable capitulation to invidious circumstances, always at the expense of the adaptation of a purposeful confidence in, and related enthusiasm for their own sense of place.

Vosseller's agitated paint seems to want to chide these Beckettesque characters into an action which they themselves seem rather reluctant to take, almost as a way of saying that they would be better off regretting something that they did do rather than the many things which they have yet to accomplish.

The most recent paintings seem to have lost their patience in observing the moments of such inaction, and instead completely immerse themselves in the rich atmospherics of a dramatic deluge of color and surface. Yet, these new works do not abandon the figure totally; rather they reveal and exaggerate the anxious world that seems to have induced their earlier state of trepidation. In so doing, they also make a grandiloquent example of their own taking of the proverbial plunge, no doubt in hopes that the fearful figures might follow suit and discover that the big bad world always has possibilities which can never be anticipated.

Mark Van Proyen
Assistant Professor of Painting, Design and Digital Media
at the San Francisco Art Institute
Bolinas, March 22