Clark Richert‘s artistic story in Colorado begins in the mid-1960s, near Trinidad, with a collective called Drop City. The geometry of sustainable living — through R. Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic domes — was used by the “Droppers” for living and working spaces, and it was through this introduction that Richert found an interest in geometry in art. From there, Richert’s path moves to Boulder in the ’70s and ’80s, where he then went back to experimenting with geometric abstraction by the 2000s. Throughout the decades of his career, Richert continuously explored the relationships between dimensions — one, two and three — while also addressing the concept of higher dimensionality. This summer, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Denver will showcase his oeuvre with a retrospective. It’s accompanied with an exhibition by Richert’s students and it opens June 7 until September 1, 2019.
The retrospective called Clark Richert in hyperspace, is the first large-scale museum exhibition dedicated to the artist. It will feature more than 100 items from his career, alongside a catalog with contributions by curator Zoe Larkins, Eva Diaz and Cortney Lane Stell. Alongside Richert’s retrospective, the MCA will also feature nth Dimension — a showcase of work from students of Richert’s at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design, who dedicate some of their inspiration to the Colorado artist.
Much of Richert’s abstraction will seem familiar to younger generations, who have grown up with similar patterns to his paintings — especially on computer programs and in brain teaser games. Some of his work is reminiscent of kaleidoscopes, while others are more reliant upon white space than colors or patterns. His ability to create designs that adhere to geometric principles ties all of his work together neatly, although the path he took may not have been the straightest. Some of Clark Richert in hyperspace will be dedicated to the underlying ethos he lived by rather than the output of his artistic devices, and in doing so, will enrich the overall appreciation of his abstraction. Richert’s story is an interesting one, and in Colorado, we can be proud of his reputation and influence that has lasted over 50 years.