Richard R. Black Biography

Richard R. Black




Richard  R. Black was born on July 18, 1932 in Farmhamville, Iowa. He received his BFA at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa in 1957 and an MSAE at the University of Wisconsin in 1958. He was hired by Drake in 1960 and was a Professor of Art there until his retirement in 1994. While at Drake he founded the Drake University Biennial Print Symposium where he was the Director between 1975 and 91. The symposium brought nationally known artists to the state to demonstrate and lecture on the art of printmaking. Black himself had been the subject of a one-person exhibition at the Des Moines Art Center and had been honored with the DRAKE AWARD for excellence in teaching and artistic achievement. Black’s works are included in many museum collections and have been shown in invitational and competitive exhibitions all over the country.

Black was a member of The Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers (RE) which was founded in 1880. All Members are elected on merit in a tradition reaching back over a hundred years. New Members are elected by the Council of the Society based on the quality of their work alone. Black won the Printmaking Today prize in the RE Annual Exhibition in 2011 at Bankside Gallery, London for his intaglio print Small Worlds: Twitter See and again 2016 for his print Penalope’s Web.

Using the intaglio process, Black created prints that have a collage-like feeling. Tightly rendered textures and color patches are layered and structured to create overall pattern. The work appears to be abstract, but when closely examined recognizable forms sometimes emerge. These images are enigmatic and are woven into intricacy of the print, there for the viewer to decipher.

Richard R. Black passed away July 28, 2020 at the age of 88 in Farmhamville, Iowa.