Dean Richardson started his painting career in the 1950s, and he describes his forty year career as a struggle to find himself as a painter. However, his contemporaries saw his work in a different light. In the 50's and 60's he was a Fullbright Scholar, received a fellowship from the Guggenheim, and the Max Beckman Memorial Scholarship. He has had numerous prestigious shows including exhibits at the Whitney Museum, the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art, the Corcoran Museum of Art, and the Decordova Museum. His work has been widely collected and is included in a number of public collections including the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum.
He started his painting career as a pure landscape artist. As his work developed, he found his interest in America’s legends and mythology becoming the focus of his work. It was at this point that Richardson began to understand himself as an artist. The paintings now developed from within, placing fact and legend together to create a personal view of history and the world. His subject matter varies from scenes of famous Native Americans, to depictions of animals in their natural habitat, to the greatest American icon: baseball. He examines the heroes that have shaped American culture, as well as, their animal counterparts who have shaped the natural world. These two seemingly incongruous elements allow the viewer to explore the part of human nature which is at one time heroic and another vulnerable at the hands of nature. Richardson’s paintings force us to examine our past no matter how painful or triumphant it may have been, and look to the future with better understanding and tolerance towards man and nature.