Richard Estes, American (1932 - )

Born in 1932 in Illinois, Richard Estes is regarded as one of the founders of the Photo-Realist movement which emerged in America in the late 1960s. He belongs to a rich history of artists who have depicted New York City, and has a detailed knowledge of the city's diverse architecture, infrastructure and habitants. Although not a native New Yorker, New York has been his home and a recurring motif in his work for over 30 years.

Habitually depicting urban landscapes, Estes begins with photography to collect and record information. He then works free-hand to paint in a fluid and open-ended process his remarkably intricate and realistic scenes. While unquestionably reconstructing reality, Estes' paintings and prints expand the sensory range of the viewer allowing a greater focus and providing more information than the naked eye. His prints are no exception in creating this extrasensory experience. They are built up in layers of color and capture a palette and vitality similar to the detailed clarity of his paintings. Estes remains a prominent figure in the contemporary art world, and has secured a place in art history as one of the most captivating American realists to date.

Estes has exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide. His work can be found in public and private collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York; Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri; Neue Galerie der Stadt Aachen, Ludwig Collection, Aachen, Germany; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York.

Resides: New York and Maine


1983 Allan Stone Gallery, New York, NY

1985 Louis K. Meisel Gallery, New York, NY

1990 "Richard Estes: The Complete Prints and the Japan Paintings,"

Sert Gallery, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard

University, Cambridge, MA

1990 "Richard Estes 1990," Japan Traveling Exhibition: Isetan Museum,

Tokyo; The Museum of Art, Kintetsu, Osaka; Hiroshima City Museum

of Contemporary Art, catalogue

1991 "Richard Estes: Urban Landscapes," Portland Museum of Art, ME

1994 “Paintings 1967-1993”, Louis K. Meisel Gallery, New York, NY

1995 Marborough Gallery, New York, NY


1983 "Modern Art in the West," Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art

1984 "Andrew Wyeth: A Trojan Horse Modernist," Greenville County Museum

of Art, Greenville, SC

1984 "On 42nd Street: Artists Visions," Whitney Museum of American Art at

Philip Morris, New York

1991 "Images in American Art 1960-1990," Southern Alleghanies Museum of

Art, Saint Francis College Mall, Loretto, PA

1994 “Review of the Season”, Louis K. Meisel Gallery, New York, NY

1996 “Paper Work”, Louis K. Meisel Gallery, New York, NY, Feb. 3 - 24

1996 “Attention to Detail (Realism in All Forms)”, Louis K. Meisel

Gallery, New York, NY, March 2 - 23

1997 “Photorealism”, Jaffe Baker Gallery, Boca Raton, FL, Jan. 9-31

1997 “Photorealists”, Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GA,

October 2 - November 25


Arthur, John. "Conversations with Richard Estes," Architectural Digest,

Oct. 1982.

New York Magazine, May 13, 1985, p. 40 illustration.

Meisel, Louis K. "Richard Estes", Composicion Arquitectonica-Art & Architecture, Feb. 1990, pp. 5 - 24.

New York Magazine, November 26, 1990, ill. p. 38.

Hurwitz, Laurie S. "Richard Estes: Illusion and Reality," American Artist, Dec. 1991, pp. 28 - 35.

Smith, Roberta. “Art in Review”, The New York Times, May 19, 1995, p.C28.

Kramer, Hilton. “Richard Estes, Photorealist: Beautiful but Dumb”, the New York Observer, June 5, 1995, p.1, p.19.

“The Photorealists,” Savannah College of Art and Design-The Magazine, Fall/Winter 1997, pp. 33-34.

Tully, Judd. “Buoyant Market for Charles Bell’s ‘Fewer than 200’ Works”,

Art Newsletter, 13 January 1998, Vol. XXIII, No. 10, p. 5.


Richard Estes: A Decade. Allan Stone Gallery, New York, 1983.

On 42nd Street: Artists Visions. Whitney Museum of American Art at Philip Morris, New York, Sept. 26 - Dec. 5, 1984.

Arthur, John. Introduction to Richard Estes. traveling exhibition, Japan: Isetan Museum, Tokyo, July 26 - Aug. 21; The Museum of Art, Kintetsu, Osaka, Aug. 24 - Sept. 10; Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Sept. 15 - Oct. 21, 1990.

New Art in an Old City/2. with essay by Edward Lucie-Smith. The Virlane Foundation and The K & B Corporation Collections, New Orleans, LA, pp.37-38, 1994.

Van Baron, Judith & Betz, Margaret. Photorealists, Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GA, 1997.


Arthur, John. Realists at Work: Studio Interviews and Working Methods of 10 Leading Contemporary Painters, New York: Watson-Guptill, 1983.

Finch, Christopher. American Watercolors, New York: Abbeville Press, 1986.

Meisel, Louis K., and John Perreault. Richard Estes: The Complete Paintings

1966-1985. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1986.

Mathey, Francois. American Realism: A Pictorial Survey from the Early 18th

Century to the Seventies. New York: Portland House, 1987.

Arthur, John. Spirit of Place: Contemporary Landscape Painting and The

American Tradition. Boston: Bulfinch Press, Little Brown, 1989.

Wood, Michael, et al. Art of the Western World. New York: Summit Books, 1989.

Arthur, John( introduction by). Richard Estes 1990, Japan Traveling Exhibition: Isetan Museum, Tokyo; The Museum of Art, Kintetsu, Osaka; Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, 1990.

Polsky, Richard. Art Market Guide. San Francisco: The Marlit Press, 1998 p. 42.

Artist's Gallery


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