Chris Richter

Chris Richter - CINNABAR

Artist Statement

Human Nature

Many indigenous cultures believe that the world is populated with spiritual powers that take the shape of animals and plants. Nature is primed to tell us intriguing, unimaginable and useful secrets. I have always been intrigued by an idea that there is a human condition in nature, particularly revealing in the relationships that trees might have with one another. Whether it be nature’s own forces or the human forces that impact nature, they are often my source of inspiration and they open up opportunities for me to explore. Through my work and process, from beginning to end, I feel I have tapped into some of nature’s most inherent characteristics in developing my own visual language to engage with the viewer.

I began working full time as a painter in 2003, after a formidable career in advertising, graphic design and illustration. Making compelling, well-executed work is a reflection on how influential the commercial art experience has been on my fine art career. My conceptual approach, combined with a compelling color palette and painting process offers an unexpected look into nature’s mystery and intrigue. It is essential to the dramatic composition of every picture. Oftentimes the mere physicality of my work is seen as a statement about our impact on nature and the environments in which we live.

My work has been selected for The National Landscape Exhibition and several prestigious exhibitions at institutions including The Ucross Foundation, The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, The Harwood Museum and The Laguna Art Museum.

I currently live and work in Laguna Beach, California.

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Chris Richter – Biography




2013    Palette to Palate, Laguna Beach, CA

2011    New Mexorado, The Harwood Museum of Art, Taos, NM

2006    Biennial Southwest '06, The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, Albuquerque, NM



2016    UnCovered, Friesen Gallery, Sun Valley, ID

            Winter Group Show, Chiaroscuro Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, NM

2015    Opening Exhibition, Gebert Contemporary – Arizona, Scottsdale, AZ

            Chris Richter with Richard Campiglio, Carol Gove, Mike Weber,

2015    Fall Group Show, Chiaroscuro Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, NM

2015    Extraction, Walker Fine Art, USA, Denver, CO

2014   What Does Love Look Like? Friesen Gallery, Sun Valley, ID

            The Edges, Chiaroscuro Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, NM

2013    Reveal, Chiaroscuro Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, NM

2013    Revealing, SCAPE Gallery, Corona Del Mar, CA

2013    Cumulous Skies, The Enduring Modernist Aesthetic in New Mexico, Santa Fe   Community Gallery, Santa Fe NM

2012    Infinite Sequence, SCAPE Gallery, Corona del Mar, CA

2011    The Silver Summit, Friesen Gallery, Sun Valley, ID

            New Abstract Paintings, Hahn Ross Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

            Speak For The Trees, Scape Gallery, Corona del Mar, CA

            In The Presence of Trees, Ucross Foundation Gallery, Ucross, WY

2010    Shared Visions - A Two Person Exhibition, Hahn Ross Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

2010    Speak For The Trees, Andria Friesen Gallery, Seattle, WA

2009    Speak For The Trees, Andria Friesen Gallery, Sun Valley, ID

2008    Color And Form, Hahn Ross Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

            Holiday Salon, EA Gallery, Port Chester, NY

            Serial Boxes, Hahn Ross Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

            A Tree Is Nice, Julie Baker Fine Art, Nevada City, CA

2007    7th Annual American Landscapes Exhibit, Maryland Federation of Art, Annapolis, MD

            Insider Art, Gallery Zipp, Glorietta, NM

2007    Talking Trees, Hahn Ross Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

Salon Mar Graff, March Salon Exhibition, Santa Fe, NM

2006    Hold It!, Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts, Pagosa Springs, CO

Mindful Repetition, Gallery Zipp, Glorietta, NM

Gallery Artists Exhibition, Joseph Gierek Fine Art, Tulsa, OK

Collect Inside 8, Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, NM

2005    Gallery Artists Holiday Show, Joseph Gierek Fine Art, Tulsa, OK

2002    New Blessings, Found Beginnings in New Mexico, Dallas, TX



2007    Juror's Choice Award for Painting, 7th Annual American Landscapes Exhibit,

Maryland Federation of Art, Annapolis, MD



2010    Pasatiempo Magazine, Artist Highlight, Santa Fe, NM

            Santa Fean Magazine, Artist Feature, Santa Fe, NM

2009    Speak For The Trees, Produced by Marquand Books, Seattle, WA

2007    Outlook Magazine, Destination Santa Fe - Artist Feature

2006    Biennial Southwest '06 Exhibition Catalog, Albuquerque, NM

2005    Urban Tulsa Weekly, Events Section, Art for Art's Sake, Tulsa, OK



2009    Boston Art Fair, Boston, MA

            AAF, New York City, NY

2007    Bridge Art Fair, Chicago, IL

News and Press



Chris Richter:  Artist Interview



1.   Describe yourself in 5 words.


The imperfect perfectionist times two.


2.   What specifically, was your inspiration for this exhibition?


With my movement into abstraction from realism, process has become a significant part of my inspiration in art making.

A current within the work for this exhibition is “light” and its effects on my most favored muse, trees and my quickly growing fondness

for the ocean. I began a couple of years ago beginning and ending my work with some specific mark making techniques that create lines

within the work. In the beginning, those lines are references that I go back to time and again throughout the process of the painting.

In the end they provide another dimension upon an otherwise smooth surface providing reflections of “light”.


3.   What is the most memorable response you've had to your work?


The most memorable response I’ve had with my work was the realization and recognition (from myself and others)

of the transition from my naturalist representational paintings to my abstract process oriented paintings.


4.   Worldwide, what is your favorite museum and why?


The relationship of art and architecture are an important part of my museum going experience. Worldwide, my favorite museum is The Louvre.

When I turned and looked up to The Winged Victory of Samothrace (Nike) at the top of the stairs it took my breath away.

I knew I was someplace special. I was as awe struck by the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver.

These two institutions are two of my favorites in this regard.


5.   What one work of art do you deem as your favorite or most powerful?(Created by an artist other than you…)


This is a tough question. A Franz Kline stopped me last year at The Denver Art Museum and my eyes welled up.

The black was rich with what seemed the simplest intent, thick with emotion. I can only imagine what the feeling

was after those marks were made on the canvas.


6.   Who are two of your favorite artists working in the same medium as you?


Gerhard Richter (no relation that I’m aware) and Stephen Bush from Australia.


7.   Do you listen to music while creating? If so, what? … If not, why?


When I listen to music while creating it is usually electronic.

Mostly up tempo but I do like an occasional down beat to keep it all introspective.


8.   What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?


What you want to do is what you are meant to do. And when doing it,

always have the feeling of a five-year-old at Christmas.



The New Mexorado Exhibition at the Harwood Museum in Taos, NM.