Neil Riley: Visiting Artist Lecture

Painter to discuss his work

Visiting Artist Lecture: Neil Riley
Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 5:00 p.m.
Owen Hall 237


Professor Neil Riley studied with Mark Karnes at the Maryland Institute College of Art (BFA) and received his MFA from Boston University. He  an associate professor of painting and drawing at Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio but also spends time painting in Vermont. In addition, Riley has been a lecturer at Dartmouth College and the Jerusalem Studio School. His awards include a Fulbright Fellowship to Italy and a residency at the Klots Chateau in Rochefort-en-Tere, France. (From Fine Art Connoisseur January - February, 2013).

Keny Galleries exhibits Neil Riley's work, which they describe as "subtle exquisitely toned interior scenes and landscapes.  The artist's mastery of value and color harmonies lends a poignant visual poetry to his paintings that continues to please viewers long after their first experience of them."

Allison Malafronte, Editor of Fine Art Today, described Riley's work: "Neil Riley's paintings contain a quieting calm and an endearing beauty that conjure up memories of our own long-forgotten moments or observations. Many of his paintings are small, in the 10 x 8-inch range, which helps them retain a freshness and spontaneity reflective of his painterly and expressive nature. It is clear that he does not overthink his subject matter or belabor technique when deciding what he wants to capture on canvas. Each painting feels intuitive, like a quick but heartfelt snapshot of some fleeting sight, sound, or feeling worth remembering and holding on to. Riley predominantly paints interiors and plein air landscapes, but it is his interiors that offer the more intriguing invitation into his thoughts and perspective as a painter."

Malafronte' article continues, "When you see a painting that moves you, I think it moves you because you believe in the authenticity of the person who did it, that they found a correlation between what was inside them and what is outside them," Riley stated in an interview with Painting Perceptions. "My paintings are like the stuff that you go by on your way to someplace else....They are sort of places between things." When he is painting those in-between scenes, Riley's style can take different shapes and forms, depending on the subject matter. Sometimes the paintings are tonal and atmospheric, with soft edges and diffuse light. Other times, as in the painting "Guemene sur Scorff," we see an almost monochromatic study of strong value patterns and clearly defined shapes. In either case, we're given an intimate look at the artist experimenting and exploring ideas on a non-intimidating small scale. "I'm very fond of that time in the 19th century when the painting sketches were a bridge between drawings and the more serious painting," Riley said. "I think I'm stuck in that middle stage."  Read More.

Presented as part of the Depatment of Art and Art History Visiting Artist/Scholar Lecture Series.