Richard Hunt, most known for his sculptures was also an incredible painter. Some of his paintings such as Untitled (1965), shows some of the same abstract styles shown his Hunt’s sculptures. Other paintings shown in the Studio Harlem Museum was Hunt’s Untitled (1980) which contained a painting of many angular lines that formed something similar to brown thunderbolts. Some of the sculptures that were abstract were the wall pieces, specifically wall piece two and seven; the sculpture’s appearance changed whenever it was looked at from a different point. Like many of the works in Hunt’s collection Framed and Extended, they are abstract, allowing for multiple interpretations for them.
During my tour of the Studio Harlem Museum aside from the sculptures, one of the paintings caught my eye. It was an Untitled, 1975 by Richard hunt. The reason why this painting caught my eye was because of the vibrant colors compared to the rest of the other pieces in the gallery; which were either in black and white or had very dark colors and a serious mood to them. This painting had a very bright yellow background, with some smudges of white to complement it. The main focus of the painting would be the black figure that looks very human like with wings. I stared at this piece for a while and I imagined the person with the wings carrying another person away from the bad things and nightmares that was in the box looking thing in the far left of the painting. The curvy lines that were coming out of the box looked like tentacles and the squid head looking thing coming out with the tentacles; this made me think that these tentacles were trying to drag the boy without wings down and the other winged person was helping the boy out from his fears.
Richard Hunt grew up in a household that admired art, his mother was an artist and supported his art passion. While hunt was helping out in the barber shop he often heard about politics and that influenced his art. From what I imagined from the painting Untitled 1975, I could see that maybe Hunt was making the tentacles to be the inequality that was faced by the blacks and whites. They were dragging him down and the other person in the picture with the wings was probably helping him up, and dragging him away from the inequality; allowing him to influence change within the black society.
When Hunt grew older he became more interested in learning about printmaking. He entered the school of Art Institute of Chicago; there he learned lithography, silk-screening and carborundum printing. Using these skills hunt began to paint more abstract paintings with hard geometric forms. In some of his other paintings Hunt makes the paintings more focused on the spontaneous shapes and angles that the pictures form. He then reshapes the lines and angles to create a fluid picture. An example that was displayed in the museum was, Ascending Descending, 1986. In this painting there were a lot of angular lines and made the painting look like yellow thunderbolts or if you look closer that image creates something that looks like an electric dragon. The painting started from the top and coming down to the middle of the canvas making it look like it was coming down from the sky. There was also a very similar painting in the gallery with almost the same exact look to Ascending Descending, but in brownish color.
Although most of Hunts works were primarily sculptures, he often sketched them out on paper and considered them a work of art on their own. Two dimensional surface is then turned into a three dimensional work and the weld that were made in the abstract work was to determine the negative space, which the viewer can interpret depending on which part of the sculpture they were looking at. Some of the sculpture that looked different from the angles viewed were the wall sculptors, at first it didn’t look all that special and I briefly glossed though them in search for something more appealing to my eyes. The wall sculptures didn’t really look all that special; it kind of looked like deformed chairs; but as I walked around to look at another painting, the image of the sculpture changed now looking something more like clock hands that were coming out of the wall. Most of Hunt’s work is abstract and one of his quotes of how he made his sculptures was “In some works it is my intention to develop the kind of forms Nature might create if only heat and steel were available to her.” This quote reflects on majority of his works, some of the bigger ones that were not displayed in the museum was Jacob’s Ladder, welded bronze and brass. It was one of the bigger and more complex sculptures that he made and it was his “breakthrough” in both his complexity and scale. What made him want to start designing these massive metal sculptures was that he wanted to show off his designs in the public, there usually contains harsh weathers and the sculptures must fend for themselves.
Art is a difficult thing to understand like wine, some people pretend to know what they are saying like this wine was woody flavor, whereas the common person might say the wine tastes like garbage. Art cannot be interpreted a single way and Hunt’s art is in his sculptures, there are many ways to see something and he elaborates on that by making these metal masterpieces. One of the metal pieces displayed at the Studio Harlem Museum was a weird blob of metal that slowly went upwards and at the top there was a rounded shape that resembled something like a dove. Looking from the back it looked like a super bowl championship trophy. The welding on the piece makes the piece have an added color as if the dove had green feathers, and the slightly red color at the base of the dove gave it red feet.
The Studio Harlem Museum’s exhibit of Richard Hunt’s work displayed some impressive pieces, of all of them some of his paintings were my favorite, but the other exhibits had some amazing pieces as well. Although the museum barely scratched the surface of Hunt’s other works, but it did display his biggest point of his works, the countless ways to interpret art.
“Thinking in Metal: Sculptor Richard Hunt.” Copper in the Arts Magazine: Thinking in Metal: Sculptor Richard Hunt. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2016.
The website contains many of Hunts works
“Richard Hunt.” Richard Hunt. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2016.
This website contained information about Hunt’s life and how he started his art career
“Search Collections.” Richard Hunt | Smithsonian American Art Museum. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2016.
Described Hunt’s sculpting techniques and where most of his works are now.