Richard Wright was born in 1960 in London. He moved to Scotland at an early age and studied at Edinburgh College of Art, and Glasgow College of Art 1993-1995. He continues to live and work in Glasgow. He was awarded the Turner Prize at Tate Britain in 2009.
Richard Wright’s most significant works in the last ten years have been painted directly onto walls,. Very often, the paintings consist of meticulously repeated designs which can appear to allude to the seriality of minimalism, or a ‘Warholian’, mechanical process. The works are painstakingly painted, by hand, over many weeks. Wright's engagement is very clearly with the question of painting and he has said: “Painting is an enactment or a physical occupation of material, in a way it speaks about time.” In his work, the importance of the material itself and the physical process occupy a space of equal importance to the context of the work. Wright's site specific paintings are always executed in response to architecture, and this specificity is very much a part of the content of the finished work. Abandoning conventional canvas as his support was a way of ridding himself of what he perceived as an obstacle between the idea and the execution. The painting Not titled (31.03.04), (2004) presents an arrangement of primary coloured geometric shapes, disposed across the ground like a folded strip of paper so as to emphasise their spatial quality. The ground is painted to resemble wooden panel, or boards. Wright's painting rehearses the dilemma of representation of spatial forms, but by using a painted simulacra of wooden panel, he radically distances himself from early twentieth century debates revolving around the concept of truth to materials.
Wright produces editions of posters, designed to be pasted to the wall in such a way as to activate a space so that the viewer is forced to experience the gallery in a different way. In a reversal of the practice of key modernist figures from the Cubists to Pop artists, who brought commercial posters off the street and into fine art practice, Wright has also given his posters to professional fly-posters, to be pasted up at random throughout a city, and become part of the urban fabric. Whether pasted up inside, or outside the gallery, the posters engage directly with questions concerning the value of art; not so much in terms of an interpenetration of high and low, as was debated in the first half of the twentieth century, but more in relation to it's commodity status as it was originally challenged by 1970s conceptualism.
The first solo exhibition of Wright's work took place in 1994 at Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, and since that time he has continued to exhibit worldwide. Notable shows include Kunsthalle Bern and Tate Liverpool in 2001; Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf, 2002; Dundee Contemporary Art, 2004; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego 2007. He has been included in many important group exhibitions including: Pitura Brittanica, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 1997; Manifesta 2, Luxembourg, 1998; the British Art Show 5, 2000 and Carnegie International, Pittsburgh, 2008.
Made in Britain Contemporary Art from the British Council Collection 1980-2010,China federation of Literary and Art Circles Publishing Corporation 2010. ISBN 978-7-5059-