Sunday, April 14, 2013


reporter: Miguel Dominguez

Richard Hickam with wife Suzin, founder of Suzin L. Chocolatier

On April 3, Allan Stone Gallery presented Richard Hickam: Four Decades, his thirteenth solo exhibition with the gallery that included a group of new works.

Allison Stone Stabile, President of Allan Stone Gallery and Richard, who is due for a refill

Richard Hickam (b. 1944, Los Angeles) received a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute, MO, in 1966, and a MFA from the University of New Mexico in 1968, both in painting. He has taught at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, MI (1968), and the Columbus College of Art, OH (1969-73). His work has been exhibited in several museums including The Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH; Boston University College of Fine Arts; and The Cleveland Museum of Art; and in galleries across the US. His work has been reviewed and reproduced in Art in America, The New York Times, Artnews, Artforum, Fortune Magazine and the San Francisco Chronicle. Hickam lives and works in Elyria, OH.

Bo Joseph and Allison of Allan Stone Gallery with Suzin and Richard in center,
and Paul and Marian Calendrillo to the right

In the 1970s, Allan Stone Gallery first exhibited Hickam’s de rigueur and stylized photorealist paintings. Though exquisitely rendered, these paintings and drawings of provocative characters in interior settings of densely patterned drapery and wallpaper belie a penchant for the abstraction fundamental to his vocabulary. Jolynne Through Window (1972), shown above, depicts a realistically described woman peeking out through a color field “wall,” and marks a fusion of the formal and material concerns that have unfolded over Hickam’s career.

By removing the figures from the “interiors”—the faceted and subdivided backgrounds—Hickam segued to a series of non-objective abstractions through the mid-1990s. The clashing planes, stripes and patterns in works such as Miami Connection (ca. 1993) and Hoaglands House (1991) synthesize his earlier photorealist drapes and wallpaper with an expressive gestural impasto. In the mid-90s, the spatial implications of these pure abstractions transitioned Hickam back to imagery and subject matter through an atmospheric group of interiors and landscapes.


The Allan Stone Gallery opened in 1960 showing works by Willem de Kooning, Cesar, Joseph Cornell, Barnett Newman, and a host of then-emerging artists like Andy Warhol, Wayne Thiebaud, Richard Estes, Robert Ryman, Eva Hesse, and John Chamberlain. Allan Stone was a leading authority on Willem de Kooning, Arshile Gorky, Franz Kline, Joseph Cornell and John Graham.

The gallery is committed to showing a broad aesthetic program across many disciplines and mediums, ranging from representation to abstraction, in painting, sculpture, and works on paper. The unifying theme of all the work they show is a profound formal soundness and the achievement of an aesthetic level of excellence. Under the direction of Allison Stone Stabile, Allan's daughter and the gaelly president, he gallery continues to present contemporary and mid-career art, interspersed with historically significant thematic exhibitions from the Allan Stone Collection, while maintaining a tradition of expertise in the mid-century New York School.

The Scream seems to be one of Suzin's most prized possessions.
Richard confessed to me that he had to pry it from her hands in order to get it to the gallery


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Really admire Hickam's work, especially the portraits. Expressive rendering and energetic brushwork plus vibrant color add up to revealing personalities.