Richard Andres was born in Buffalo, New York in 1927. A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1950, he was immediately drafted and served for two years in the army as a mural painter. He received his Master of Arts from Kent State in 1961. A frequent exhibitor at galleries and museums and winner of multiple May Show prizes, Andres taught art in the Cleveland Public Schools for 28 years, as well as teaching the University of Buffalo, the Cleveland Institute of Art and the Western Reserve University.

Very little in Richard Andres’ childhood would have predicted his love of classical music, mid-century-modern architecture and certainly not his lifelong passion for art and in particular abstract art. Richard’s father, Raymond, had no more than a third-grade education, and his mother, Clara, was one of thirteen children – only three of whom lived into adulthood and none of whom attended high school.

They lived, when Richard was a boy, in a dingy area of Buffalo, NY in a walk-up apartment situated above a tavern. Raymond and Clara supplemented the income from their factory jobs in the bar downstairs with Raymond playing ragtime on the piano and Clara serving drinks. This often left Richard and his two older brothers at home alone to fend for themselves. The two older boys, Raymond and Russell, were - unlike Richard- rather rough and tumble and entertained themselves with stickball, boxing and the like. Richard, on the other hand, from a very young age liked to draw, or better yet even, to paint with the small set of watercolors he received for Christmas one year. Paper, however, at the height of the depression, was hard to come by. Luckily, Clara used paper doilies as decoration for the apartment and Richard would contentedly paint and then cut up doilies, gluing the pieces together to create collages.

At eight-years-old, he discovered the Albright-Knox Museum (then known as the Albright Art Gallery) and spent several hours a week there studying the paintings. He was particularly fond of Charles Burchfield‘s landscapes, enamored with their ‘messiness’ and thinking that they somehow captured more ‘feeling’ than works he was previously familiar with. For his tenth Christmas, he asked for and received a ‘how-to’ paint book by Elliot O’Hare. Through this self-teaching, he assembled the portfolio needed for acceptance to Buffalo Technical High School where he studied Advertising Arts. In his Junior year, he was encouraged to enter a watercolor painting, “Two Barns,” in the national 1944-45 Ingersoll Art Award Contest and was one of twelve grand prize winners – each one winning one hundred dollars. More importantly the painting was exhibited at the Carnegie Institute Galleries, which resulted in his winning a national scholarship to the Cleveland School of Art (The Cleveland Art Institute).

He flourished at the art school under the tutelage of faculty members such as Carl Gaertner, as well as that of visiting artists such as William Sommer and Henry George Keller. He would say in later years that Gaertner, in particular, influenced his attitude toward life as well as art. “Gaertner,” Andres said, “believed that there was no need to be a ‘tortured artist’, that an artist should rather enjoy beauty, family, and life in general.” Free to spend his days as he chose, he wandered the Cleveland Art Museum for most of the hours he was not attending classes or painting; the remaining time was spent drinking coffee at a local hangout with art school friends – which is where he met fellow Henry Keller scholarship winner, Avis Johnson. Richard was immediately smitten with Avis, but being rather shy, it took him the entire summer of 1948 to build up his courage to ask her out. Over that summer he ‘thought about Avis’ and worked in a diner to save money. He also used the hundred-dollar prize money won in High School to visit the first Max Beckmann retrospective in the United States at the City Art Museum in St. Louis. Over a half century later he spoke of that exhibit with a reverence usually reserved for spiritual matters, “I walked in and it was like nothing I had ever seen before... the color...It just glowed.”

Returning to campus in the Fall, the first thing he did was go to the coffee shop in hopes of finding Avis. He did, and she, upon seeing him, realized that she was also smitten with him. They quickly became known as ‘the couple’ on campus, and a year later, with Richard being drafted for the Korean war, they were quickly married by a Justice of the Peace, celebrating after with family at Avis’s Cleveland home. As a gift, faculty member John Paul Miller designed and made the simple gold wedding ring Avis wore for their 65 years of marriage. During those 65 years neither wavered in their mutual love, nor in the respect they shared for one another’s art.

The couple lived in a converted chicken coop in Missouri while Richard was in boot camp. At the camp, he would volunteer for any job offered and one of those jobs ended up being painting road signs. His commander noticed how quickly and neatly he worked and gave him more painting work to do - eventually recommending him for a position painting murals for Army offices in Panama. Until her dying day, Avis remained angry that “The army got to keep those fabulous murals and they probably didn’t even know how wonderful they were.” In Panama, their first son, Mark, was born. After Richard’s discharge in 1953, they moved back to the Cleveland area and used the GI bill to attend Kent State gaining his BA in education. The small family then moved briefly to Buffalo, where Richard taught at the Albright Art School and the University of Buffalo – and their second son, Peter, was born. Richard had exhibited work in the Cleveland May Show and the Butler Art Museum during his art school years, and during the years in Buffalo, his work was exhibited at the gallery he had so loved as a child, the Albright Art Gallery.

In 1956, the family moved back to the Cleveland area and Richard began teaching art at Lincoln West High School during the day while working toward his MA in art at Kent State in the evenings. Avis and Richard, with the help of an architect, designed their first home - a saltbox style house in Hudson, Ohio, and in 1958, their third son, Max (after Max Beckmann) was born. Richard enjoyed the consistency of teaching high school as well as the time it gave him to paint on the weekends and during the summer months. In 1961, he received his MA and his daughter, Claire, was born. With a fourth child, the house was much too small, and Avis and Richard began designing their second home. An admirer of MCM architecture, Richard’s favorite example of the style was the Farnsworth house – he often spoke of how the concepts behind this architectural style, particularly that of Mies van der Rohe, influenced his painting.

Andres described himself as a 1950’s painter, not fully accepting the designation of ‘Abstract Expressionist’ or ‘Abstract’ he saw his work as an extension of those styles, but rooted in the wider mid-century architectural concept of immersing the individual with nature, and the breakdown of the barrier between interior and exterior spaces. The house Avis and Richard built in 1967, with its open concept, and large glass curtainless windows reflected that concept, and the influence of living in that type of space can be seen in his later works. As Avis liked to say, “The idea is to have the walls be glass, but you need some real walls to have somewhere to hang paintings.”

In this house, Richard developed a style of painting that harkened back to his early years. In his studio, a room in the house with a large window, he would roll out large thin paper - the type used for architectural blueprints on the floor and paint on it. The large rolls of paintings would then be cut into pieces and then glued onto canvas, creating that ‘glow’ of color he admired in Beckmann’s exhibit. These paintings, often with titles such as “Windows” or “Gardens” have transparency that reflects the breaking of interior/exterior boundaries of mid-century architecture as well as a joy realized in those early words of Carl Gaertner. In his late life Andres was fond of saying, “I am the wealthiest man in the world, look around, I have everything anybody could want. Look at my wife, my house, and all this art.”

 

Education

Kent State University, M.A. (Art) 1961
Kent State University, B.S. Ed., 1954, Magna Cum Laude

U.S. Army, March 1951 to March 1953
Cleveland Institute of Art, B.F.A., 1950
Buffalo Technical High School, 1945, Honors

 

Teaching

The Cleveland Public Schools, 1955-1983
The Albright Art School of the University of Buffalo, 1954-1955

Classes at the Cleveland Institute of Art, Western Reserve University and Western Reserve Academy

 

Awards

Kaleidoscope, Akron, Ohio
First Place, Acrylic, 2004

Honorable Mention, 2005

Cleveland Museum of Art - May Shows

Special Jury Mention - 1967, 1968, 1974, 1979, 1981, 1984

Ohio State Fair, Columbus, Ohio

Fine Arts Exhibition - 1982

Canton Art Institute, All Ohio Shows

Second Prize, Painting - 1979

Honorable Mention, Painting - 1977

Canton Art Institute, Fall Shows
Honorable Mention, Oil - 1969
Best in Show, Oil - 1968
Honorable Mention, Water Color - 1968
Honorable Mention, Water Color - 1967
Honorable Mention, Oil, Water Color, Drawing - 1965

Best in Show - 1961
Honorable Mention, Prints - 1961

Massillon Museum
Purchase Award - 1969

Canton Jewish Community Center Best in Show, 1967

Chesterfield Purchase Award - 1967

Honorable Mention, Graphics - 1960
Akron Art Institute, Spring Shows Two Honor Awards, 1966

Three Honor Awards, 1965

 

Student Awards

Kent State University, Independent Student Show

Purchase Prize, Oil - 1953

Third Prize, Drawing - 1953

Cleveland Institute of Art

Henry G. Keller Award for Excellence in Drawing - 1949

Cleveland Institute of Art, Student Independent Shows

First Prize - 1948

Second Prize - 1947
National Scholastic Scholarship Award, 1945

Ingersol Award - 1945

 

Shows

12th Annual Juried Exhibition “Double Exposure,” Pleiades Gallery, New York, NY - 1994 **Avante Gallery, Cleveland - 1990
Andres–A Family Show, The Cain Park Art Gallery, Cleveland Heights - 1986
Cleveland Museum of Art May Shows - 1947-1954, 1956, 1957, 1959-1961, 1964, 1967-1977, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1984

Cleveland Museum of Art, The Cleveland Institute of Art 100 Years - 1982

Erie Fine Art Center, Spring Show - 1982

Canton Art Institute, All Ohio - 1977, 1979, 1981
Beck Center, Lakewood, Ohio, Work by the Andres Family - 1981
Canton Art Institute, The Andres Family Show - 1980
** Staircase Gallery, Hudson, Ohio - 1976
First Annual Ohio Invitational, Blossom Music Center - 1976
** Dobama Theater, Cleveland, 1972, 1974
* Cleveland Institute of Art, Distinguished Alumnus - 1974
Cleveland Institute of Art Alumni Invitational - 1973
Kent State Alumni Invitational - 1973
Arts International, Cleveland - 1971
Cuyahoga Community College Invitational - 1970
Akron Area Artists Invitational, Massillon Museum - 1970
Cleveland Museum of Art Traveling Shows - 1947-1951, 1960-1961, 1966-1969
* Intown Club, Cleveland - 1967
* Mai one College, Canton - 1966
Akron Art Institute - 1965, 1966
* Canton Art Institute - 1964
Contemporary American Water Color Invitational, Grand Rapids, Michigan - 1963

*Kent State University - 1961
Cleveland Institute of Art Faculty Shows - 1956-1958
Albright Art Gallery, 21st Western N.Y. Exhibition - 1955
Albright Art School Faculty Exhibit, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo - 1954
Butler Art Institute, New York Show, Youngstown, Ohio - 1950
**Karamu Theater, Cleveland - 1950

 

*0ne Man Shows

**Two Person Shows

 

Works Represented in the Following Collections

Cleveland Museum of Art Massillon Art Museum
Canton Art Institute
Kent State University
Western Reserve Academy Central National Bank of Cleveland

Cleveland Trust Company

U.S. Time Corporation
Ferro Corporation
The Chesterfield of Cleveland
Samuel Moore & Company - Eaton Corporation

Hiram College

Works by Richard Andres

Untitled, 1949 - SOLD by Richard Andres

Untitled, 1949 - SOLD Richard Andres

Untitled by Richard Andres

Untitled, c. 1949 Richard Andres

Battle of the Sea Gods after Mantegna by Richard Andres

Battle of the Sea Gods after Mantegna, c. 1950 Richard Andres

Untitled, c. 1950 - SOLD by Richard Andres

Untitled, c. 1950 - SOLD Richard Andres

Untitled, 1950 - SOLD by Richard Andres

Untitled, 1950 - SOLD Richard Andres

Untitled I by Richard Andres

Untitled I, c. 1950 Richard Andres

White & Yellow by Richard Andres

White & Yellow, c. 1953 Richard Andres

Untitled I by Richard Andres

Untitled I, c. 1955 Richard Andres

Untitled by Richard Andres

Untitled, c. 1955 Richard Andres

S.F.L. by Richard Andres

S.F.L., 1955 Richard Andres

Untitled, c. 1958 - SOLD by Richard Andres

Untitled, c. 1958 - SOLD Richard Andres

Fragment by Richard Andres

Fragment, c. 1958 Richard Andres

Untitled II by Richard Andres

Untitled II, c, 1958 Richard Andres

Blue Wall by Richard Andres

Blue Wall, c. 1958 Richard Andres

Black Image by Richard Andres

Black Image, c. 1958 Richard Andres

Untitled by Richard Andres

Untitled, c. 1958 Richard Andres

Untitled I, c. 1960 - SOLD by Richard Andres

Untitled I, c. 1960 - SOLD Richard Andres

Untitled II, c. 1960 - SOLD by Richard Andres

Untitled II, c. 1960 - SOLD Richard Andres

Head by Richard Andres

Head, 1959 Richard Andres

Dark Ground by Richard Andres

Dark Ground, 1961 Richard Andres

The Grey Wall by Richard Andres

The Grey Wall, c. 1962 Richard Andres

Corps Emblem by Richard Andres

Corps Emblem, c. 1962 Richard Andres

Untitled by Richard Andres

Untitled, c. 1962 Richard Andres

Delaware II by Richard Andres

Delaware II, c. 1962 Richard Andres

Magic Garden by Richard Andres

Magic Garden, c. 1962 Richard Andres

Naval Occurrence by Richard Andres

Naval Occurrence, c. 1963 Richard Andres

Purity and the Wall by Richard Andres

Purity and the Wall, c. 1964 Richard Andres

Shore V by Richard Andres

Shore V, c. 1964 Richard Andres

Panama Garden by Richard Andres

Panama Garden, c. 1964 Richard Andres

Circus Lights and Shadows by Richard Andres

Circus Lights and Shadows, c. 1964 Richard Andres

Green Walking by Richard Andres

Green Walking, c. 1965 Richard Andres

Red Walking, c. 1965 - SOLD by Richard Andres

Red Walking, c. 1965 - SOLD Richard Andres

Pieces Collage by Richard Andres

Pieces Collage, c. 1965 Richard Andres

Circus 10 by Richard Andres

Circus 10, c. 1965 Richard Andres

Untitled by Richard Andres

Untitled, c. 1967 Richard Andres

Untitled by Richard Andres

Untitled, c. 1968 Richard Andres

Untitled  by Richard Andres

Untitled , 1968 Richard Andres

Untitled by Richard Andres

Untitled, c. 1967 Richard Andres

Crusader by Richard Andres

Crusader, c. 1969 Richard Andres

Reading by Richard Andres

Reading, 1970 Richard Andres

Garden by Richard Andres

Garden, 1972 Richard Andres

Interior, c. 1972 - SOLD by Richard Andres

Interior, c. 1972 - SOLD Richard Andres

Sailing by Richard Andres

Sailing, 1973 Richard Andres

Shore IV by Richard Andres

Shore IV, c. 1974 Richard Andres

L.S.F. 74 by Richard Andres

L.S.F. 74, 1974 Richard Andres

L.S.F. 8-74, 1974 - SOLD by Richard Andres

L.S.F. 8-74, 1974 - SOLD Richard Andres

L.S.F. by Richard Andres

L.S.F., c. 1975 Richard Andres

Bridges II by Richard Andres

Bridges II, c. 1975 Richard Andres

Untitled I by Richard Andres

Untitled I, c. 1975 Richard Andres

Untitled II by Richard Andres

Untitled II, c. 1975 Richard Andres

Erie Shore by Richard Andres

Erie Shore, c. 1975 Richard Andres

Saturday on Wednesday by Richard Andres

Saturday on Wednesday, c. 1975 Richard Andres

Quarters by Richard Andres

Quarters, 1975 Richard Andres

Interior by Richard Andres

Interior, 1976 Richard Andres