Richard Paulsen

Richard Paulsen

Associate Professor
Department of Art

Richard Paulsen is currently Associate Professor of Art at Elmhurst College where he teaches studio art and history of art courses. In the past, he has taught at Mundelein College, The Chicago Academy of Fine Art, and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has also served as a visiting artist at the University of Iowa, the State University of Wisconsin at La Cross, and at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He received his B.A. from Northern Illinois University and his M.F.A. from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Richard Paulsen is a working artist whose art has been included in exhibits in Chicago, frequently at the N.A.B. Gallery, the Evanston Art Center, and in other exhibits in the vicinity. His work is included in collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Public Library, Illinois Art Council, Elmhurst College, Northern Illinois University, Viterbo College, the Don Roger Gill Collection, and other private collections.

“For the past fifteen years my work has evolved from complex subjects to simple objects, especially fruit or vegetables, treated as portraits. They grew into a continuing series of work I call: Portraits of Produce. Prior to this series my work focused on containers, simple utilitarian objects. Essentially: Portraits of Packages. This lithograph print is one in that series. There is no attempt at elaborate compositions as in my past work nor interest in acrobatic formal compositional concerns. Neither is there any attempt at a narrative; I have no story to tell nor do I have a secret message. If there’s any message as all, it’s about the medium.

The content of my work is embodied in the process of the creation itself. I love to do painting, love the sensuousness of the material itself, and the magic of the image. Working strictly from direct observation, I address these wonderful gifts from nature with all the care of a formal portrait of a prestigious personage. I employ a traditional academic technique* to render these humblest of things as the noblest of things. Some might say they detect a soupçon of Duchampian dada layered in the pigment.”

* The academic technique is so named because it was the technique advocated and taught by the salon masters of the French Royal Academy of Art. The principal distinguishing feature of this technique is the process of developing the work with a series of translucent layers of medium and color, called glazes, over a preliminary image which has been rendered in values, lights and darks. Each glaze layer must dry before another is over-painted.

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