Richard J S Young
Artist and Photographer
"I enjoy colour and making marks. My drawings and paintings are explorations of how the paint or pencil interact with the surface...for me, my more interesting images are those that are cerebral and require some interpretation on the part of the viewer. Certainly, my exhibition oil paintings are like that. I am primarily a figurative artist with an abstract adventurous element, I enjoy drawing and painting the figure. My interest in photographic arts and cinema have both left marks on my image creating."
Born in the leafy suburbs of Woking, Surrey, a year later, Young’s family moved to Australia where they settled near Adelaide, and then to Woomera in South Australia’s far north desert region, the outback. Right from kindergarten, Young was a compulsive drawer and painter on pretty much any surface he could find. He even won a painting prize when he was 7 years old with the state newspaper. Woomera’s arid and dry desert landscape provided an enduring inspiration where bright colours contrasted beautifully with the vast and expansive blue sky.
At the age of 14, Young returned to England. At school, he discovered Cubism, then Cézanne and Matisse whose view of the world was colourful and distorted, the academic facility of drawing was not needed. This is where Young’s exciting journey into colour adventures and abstraction began. There was then a cascade of artist’s influences : Degas’s ballerinas, Turner’s later experimental watercolours, the so called ‘colour beginnings’ and to Richard Parkes Bonington, an early and exquisite English landscape watercolourist. However, the real change was the exciting discovery of the New York expressionists, in particular the works of Rothko, de Kooning and Pollock together an in parallel Warhol. These influences stayed with him throughout his life and career.
Academically, Young is a scientist and obtained a PhD in Chemical Physics at the University of Kent in Canterbury and later spent time at UCL’s The Slade School of Art. He has spent his life with scientific and artistic pursuits running in parallel. Young has stated that he had “chosen to join his interests in art and science...I was inspired as a teenager by Leonardo Di Vinci who as a Renaissance man joined art and the sciences and pioneered many of the techniques of art and technology”. He designed pigments for ceramic glazes and also inks for screen printed electronic applications. His artistic process indicates an artist who reflects the currents and motions of the outside world; his tendency to experiment is very evident.
Today, Young’s current artistic and aesthetic influences are diverse extending from painting to music, the photographic arts and cinema. Contemporary music drive his images forward, ranging from artists such as Steve Reich, Max Richter, Olafur Arnalds to Four Tet and the Blondes. Literature creates a mantle where text is appropriated and used as source inspiration, often stolen from William Shakespeare or a song’s lyrics so creating a narrative within the images. Current influences to the abstracted works are drawn from works of the New York expressionists but also Richard Diebenkorn, Rauschenberg and Twombly. The figure work is still influenced by Degas but incorporates the structured mark making of Euan Uglow (who taught The Slade). The photographic aesthetic of the New York Photography school (Saul Leiter in particular), New Topographics and radical fashion photography.
Young has had a number of one man exhibitions, won Fine Art prizes at University, exhibited at The Royal Academy of Arts (Piccadilly), The West of England Academy (Bristol) and Victoria Gallery (Bath) and elsewhere. Works are in private collections around the world.
2019 44AD Associates Exhibition, Bath
2018 1stDibs.com On line Gallery
2017 BS9 Arts Trail, Northwest Bristol
2017 Bath Society of Artists, Victoria Gallery, Bath
2016 SulisFineArt.com On line Gallery
2016 BS9 Arts Trail, North West Bristol
2015 Sound and Vision, Quercus Gallery, Bath
2015 Bath Society of Artists, Victoria Gallery, Bath
2015 BS9 Arts Trail, northwest Bristol
2014 Bath Society of Artists, Victoria Gallery, Bath
2014 8th Wonders, 44AD Gallery, Bath
2013 BS9 Arts Trail, northwest Bristol
2013 ‘BloodLines’, Bath Fringe festival, Bath
2013 48 hours, 44AD Gallery, Bath
2013 Conucopia, Bristol
2013 Slade, UCL - Art in Contemporary Practice, London
2012 Bath Society of Artists, Victoria Gallery, Bath
2012 Royal West of England Academy – Autumn Exhibition
2011 Bath Society of Artists, Victoria Gallery, Bath
2010 Bath Society of Artists, Victoria Gallery, Bath
2008 Wheatsheaf, Coombe Hay
2008 Royal West of England Academy – Sollus & Dualis
2006 Centrespace Gallery, Bristol
2006 Bath Society of Artists, Victoria Gallery, Bath
2004 Bath Society of Artists, Victoria Gallery, Bath
2004 Royal Crescent Hotel, Bath
2003 Anthony Hepworth Gallery, Bath
2000 Eight Bell’s Gallery, Tetbury. Solo exhibition.
1997 Royal West of England Academy – Autumn Exhibition
1996 Eight Bell’s Gallery, One man show
1996 Royal West of England Academy – Autumn Exhibition
1995 Royal West of England Academy – Autumn Exhibition
1994 Kings Arms Didmarton, England
1993 Kingsley Galleries, Bath
1988-92 Private commission work (Switzerland)
1983 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, Piccadilly, London
1983 Reading Gallery, Reading, England
1978 3 commissions from the University of Kent
1978 Solo exhibition, Gulbenkian Theatre, University of Kent