November 11, 2012
Press Release - Sanford Wurmfeld


November 9—December 22, 2012

Artist reception: Friday, November 16, 5:00-7:00 PM

David Richard Gallery, LLC
Railyard Arts District
544 South Guadalupe Street
Santa Fe, NM 87501
p 505-983-9555

David Richard Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of paintings from 1988 to 2011 by Sanford Wurmfeld—the gallery’s first solo exhibition for the New York-based artist. 

Sanford Wurmfeld’s paintings immerse the viewer in color and visual sensations. He uses the square as the basic building block, in varying sizes and shapes, in grid patterns and opposing horizontal and vertical gradients to explore the impact of spatial relationships of hues, changes in values and degree of saturation on the psychological and emotional effects of color. The culmination of the increasing complexity of his work and scale of the seminal paintings from the late 1970s—some reaching 30 feet in length, engulfing the viewer and commanding even the peripheral vision—led to purchases by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and Guggenheim Museum, New York for their permanent collections. In awe of panoramic paintings, his own work from the 1980s further inspired Wurmfeld to produce his first 360-degree painting, Cyclorama 2000, that truly immersed the viewer in continuous gradients and fields of color. While this exhibition will not include a Cyclorama painting, it will feature a large seminal painting from 1988 that utilized Wurmfeld’s more evolved overlapping and opposing grid system, along with many small and medium-sized works from select series that, in aggregate, produce a panoramic effect. In Wurmfeld’s newest work, painted in 2010 and 2011, he limits the palette and saturation of hues on a black or white ground to produce paintings that appear nearly all black or all white. The complex grid patterns and slow transitions of value provide exceptionally subtle colors that take Wurmfeld’s work to an even higher level of elegance and sophistication. But more important, the vaporous colors beg a greater engagement with the viewer to both verify the existence of color and the method of application. 

Born and raised in New York, Sanford Wurmfeld studied art history at Dartmouth and taught himself to paint. Early influences were Abstract Expressionist painters Kline, Pollock, de Kooning and Rothko and then later, Monet. While traveling and living in Europe he saw the exhibition of paintings by Kenneth Noland, Frank Stella and Morris Louis at the Venice Biennale, their art influenced both his interest in and approach to studying color. In 1966 he started the MA program at Hunter College, where he studied with Ray Parker, Tony Smith, Gene Goossen and Ad Reinhardt. After becoming an adjunct faculty member of Hunter College in 1967, he formed close relationships with departmental colleagues Doug Ohlson, Vincent Longo and Robert Swain. In 1968, Goossen included Wurmfeld’s art in The Art Of The Real, 1948-68, an exhibition he curated at the Museum of Modern Art, New York and Wurmfeld had his first solo exhibition that same year at Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York. Later, he also had solo exhibitions at the Susan Caldwell Gallery and Denise Rene Gallery. Wurmfeld was appointed Chairman of the Art Department at Hunter College in 1978, where he held that position for 28 years. He also started the Hunter Galleries and was the Director for 20 years. He has had many museum exhibitions, written extensively and contributed his essays to seminal art publications, and his work is included in many private and public international collections. 

David Richard Gallery is located in the Santa Fe Railyard Arts District and specializes in post-war abstract art including Abstract Expressionism, Color Field, geometric, hard-edge, Op, Pop, Minimalism and conceptualism in a variety of media. Featuring both historic and contemporary artwork, the gallery represents many established artists who were part of important art historical movements and tendencies that occurred during the 1950s through the 1980s on both the east and west coasts. The gallery also represents artist estates, emerging artists and offers secondary market works.

Associated Artist

Associated Exhibitions

Associated News

  • November 11, 2012

News Archive

March 27, 2019
March 16, 2019
July 2, 2017
July 2, 2017
July 2, 2017
July 2, 2017
January 17, 2017
Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts
J. Willard Marriott Library
The University of Utah, 01/17/2017

The University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library will host the art exhibition Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts, Jan. 20-March 3.

Artnauts, an art collective formed 20 years ago by George Rivera, professor of art and art history at the University of Colorado, Boulder, consists of 300 global artists who serve as goodwill ambassadors, acknowledging and supporting victims of oppression worldwide. Their creativity has generated over 230 exhibitions across five continents. Five faculty members from the U’s Department of Art and Art History are members of the collective, Sandy Brunvand, Beth Krensky, V. Kim Martinez, Brian Snapp and Xi Zhang.

Globalocation derives from “Globalocational Art” — a concept used by the Artnauts to refer to their exhibitions in international venues. It is the mission of the Artnauts to take art to places of contention, and this anniversary exhibition is a sample of places where they have been and themes they have addressed.

“The Artnauts could not exist without the commitment of the artists in the collective to a common vision of the transformative power of art,” said Rivera. “The Artnauts make their contribution with art that hopefully generates a dialogue with an international community on subjects that are sometimes difficult to raise.”

Krensky, associate department chair of the Art and Art History Department, had the opportunity to travel with Rivera in Chile as part of an Artnauts project, working with mothers who were searching for their children who had mysteriously disappeared during a time of political unrest.

“When I travelled to Chile in 1998, George and I spent an afternoon with the Mothers of the Disappeared, and the meeting changed my life,” said Krensky. “It was from that moment on that I placed a picture of them on my desk to look at every day. I was so moved by what they each had lost — a son, a brother, a father — and yet what remained for them was a deep, deep well of love. They were fierce warriors and stood up to the government to demand the whereabouts and information of the people who had disappeared, but they lived within profound love.”

The 20th anniversary exhibition at the Marriott Library is a retrospective of the traveling works the Artnauts have toured around the globe. The exhibition will be located on level three of the library. The opening reception is open to the public and will be held on Friday, Jan 20, 4-6 p.m. Rivera will speak at 4 p.m.

September 12, 2014
February 15, 2014
January 31, 2014
September 12, 2013
December 18, 2012
September 26, 2012
May 31, 2012
September 21, 2011