Robert Richenburg

Robert Richenburg

1917 – 2006

Robert Richenburg (July 14, 1917 – October 10, 2006 in East Hampton, New York) was an abstract expressionist artist based in New York City, whose paintings were widely acclaimed in the 1950s and 1960s. While a student of Hans Hofmann, Richenburg exhibited at the Museum of Non-Objective Painting (later the Guggenheim) in 1950. The following year, he participated in the historic Ninth Street Art Exhibition, and subsequently taught at Pratt Institute along with Franz Kline, Adolph Gottlieb, Jack Tworkov, Philip Guston, Milton Resnick and Tony Smith. By 1961, critic Irving Sandler declared that “Richenburg emerges as one of the most forceful painters on the New York Art Scene.” The Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, among others, purchased his work.

Richenburg’s work as a painter followed training in his teens at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, art history studies at George Washington University (without graduating), courses at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. and at the Art Students’ League in New York, and service in World War II as a combat engineer dealing with explosives, mines and booby traps. Within five years of his return to the States, Richenburg had studied with Amédée Ozenfant and Hans Hofmann, lived for a year in Provincetown, Massachusetts—where he then began spending summers—joined the Artists’ Club in New York, and exhibited at the Museum of Non-Objective Painting and the Provincetown Art Association. In 1951 he began a long-term teaching position at the Pratt Institute, and Leo Castelli selected one of his works for the historic Ninth Street Show. Thus began a career in which Richenburg’s paintings were widely exhibited and reviewed, and purchased by major collectors (Walter Chrysler, Joseph Hirshhorn) and museums (the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art)

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