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Richard Bolingbroke was born in Southsea, England in 1952, and grew up in the south of England. He had little art education, and rather than studying at a small regional art school, he chose to study Geography at London University, obtaining a BSc in 1973
He traveled to India in 1976, and lived there for five years on a life-defining spiritual journey. This search for meaning in life has defined his artistic exploration. After living in Amsterdam for a year he moved to the US in 1981 arriving in Boston on Thanksgiving Day, which has become his personal favorite holiday to celebrate.
Having lived in the North Shore of Boston, MA, eastern Oregon, and Phoenix, AZ when he came to San Francisco in June 1986 to visit friends, he finally found a climate and culture that supportive and comfortable.
Early on, after becoming absorbed in the work of Matisse he found that color was the motivating force in his work. He has worked primarily in watercolor initially creating majestic floral still-lifes. More recently investigations of pattern and color have resulted in complex watercolor images using Japanese kimonos and various personal objects from his studio. This work developed into the series Rituals and Meditations, which has continued his keen observation of nature.
However after 20 years of this being his main medium, he started exploring abstraction with monotype, and cut-paper collage. This allowed for an expanded vision and a wider range of subject matter. A commission in 2016 from Google to create two large pieces for a new downtown San Francisco office space facilitated his creation of a method of working.
This method employed his own digital photographs, which he manipulated and collaged into large black and white images, are then laser-etched onto wood panels. These panels are then hand-colored with graphite, charcoal and pastel. After fixing and glazing them the final image is an abstract and tactile vision of the world around us, through man-made and natural pattern.
A selection of work from the series of watercolors from Rituals and Meditations toured museums in the U.S. from 2005 – 2008
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2014 Riddles, Mysteries and Visions Paul Mahder Gallery, San Francisco, California
2012 Not So Still Life, Paul Mahder Gallery, San Francisco, California
2012 Rhythm of Life, Woodson Museum, Wasau, Wisconsin
2012 Rising from the Ashes:Recent Collages, Andalu Restaurant, San Francisco, California
2010 Not So Still-Life, Sun Gallery, Hayward, California
2009 Love, Life and Death, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, California
2009 Rituals and Meditations, Anderson Art Center, Anderson, Indiana
2008 Family Portrait, LGBT Center Gallery, Curated by Visual Aid, San Francisco, California
2008 Rituals and Meditations, Charles Allis/Villa Terrace Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
2008 Rituals and Meditations, South Dakota Art Museum, Brookings South Dakota
2006 Visual Aid Gallery, San Francisco, California
2006 Rituals and Meditations, Murray State University Gallery, Murray, Kentucky
2006 Rituals and Meditations, Visual Arts Center, Panama City, Florida
2006 Rituals and Meditations, Parkersburg Art Center, Parkersburg, West Virginia
2005 Waterworks Visual Arts Center, Salisbury, North Carolina
2005 Oliver Elliot and Sebastian, Carmel, California.
2005 Atrium Gallery, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, England
2005 Mowen Solinski Gallery, Nevada City, California
2004 Clark Contemporary, San Francisco, California
2003 Transamerica Center, 505 Sansome St, San Francisco, California
2002 A 12 Year Retrospective, The Atrium Gallery, San Francisco, California
2000 Bechtel Corporation World Headquarters, San Francisco, California1999 Prince Street Gallery, New York, New York 1998 Rivaga Gallery, Washington D.C.
1995 Gallery 30, Burlingame, California
1994 RJS Galleries, Key West, Florida
1993 Art in Public Spaces Program, Stanford University, California
1993 Diva Gallery, Palm Beach, Florida
1992 Mill Valley Art Commission, Mill Valley, California
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2012 Life/Live ARC Gallery, San Francisco, Open Studios
2012 Works on Paper, Santa Cruz Art League, Santa Cruz, California
2011 Queer It Yourself, Somarts Gallery, San Francisco, California
2011 Dollhouse, Arc Gallery, San Francisco, Juror, Jack Fischer, Jack Fischer Gallery
2011 One-Off, Arc Gallery, San Francisco, curated by Mike Yochum
2011 Hearts and Healing, LGBT Center, San Francisco, curated by Pam Peniston.
2008 Contemporary American Realism, M. A. Doran Gallery, Tulsa, Oklahoma
2008 Watercolor Now, Springfield Museum, Springfield, Missouri.
2008 Home Front, Marin Community Foundation,curated by Visual Aid, Novato, California
2007 Watercolor USA, Springfield Art Museum, Springfield,Missouri, Juror Daniel Piersol
2005 Proof Positive, Visual Aid Exhibition, LGBT Community Center, San Francisco, California
2005 Iconography and Trans-formation, Space 743/Visual Aid, San Francisco, California
2004 Watercolor USA, Springfield Art Museum, Springfield, Missouri, Juror Joseph Jacobs
2003 Summer Show, Anne Bradford Gallery, Healdsburg, California
2002 Positive Too, LGBT Center, San Francisco, California
2000 Things:Still Lifes and Objects, Digital Annex, San Francisco, Curator J. Davis
1999 Water-Color, Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek,California, Jurors Mark Adams/Beth Van Housen
1998 Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, Tampa, Florida, Honorable Mention Prize, Juror Thelma Golden
1998 Nature 1 Post St, McKesson Headquarters, Curator J Davis, San Francisco, California
1997 Michael Thompson Gallery, San Francisco , California.
1997 Coconut Grove Art Festival, Coconut Grove Florida, First Prize watercolor.
1996 Men at Work, San Francisco, California
1996 Sun Gallery 35th Biennial, Hayward, California
1992 7th International Exhibition of Botanical Art and Illustration, Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
AWARDS AND COMMISSIONS
2006 American Artist Award, Watercolor USA,Springfield Art Museum, Missouri, Juror Daniel Piersol, Curator, Mississippi Museum of Art
1999 Coconut Grove Art Festival, Coconut Grove, Florida, Second Prize Watercolor
1998 National AIDS Memorial Grove, San Francisco, Poster Commission
1998 Gasparilla Festival, Tampa, Florida, juror Thelma Golden Whitney Museum,Honorable Mention
1997 Coconut Grove Art Festival, Coconut Grove, Florida, First Prize Watercolor
1990 San Francisco Gay Mens Chorus, Concert Poster
Bechtel Corporation, San Francisco, California
Kaiser Permanente Corporation, California
The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Bay Times, San Francisco , March 27 2008 “Family Portrait, a chronicle and homage” Tom Kelly
Salisbury Post, November 10 2005, Bolingbroke Watercolors, interview
Bay Times, San Francisco, July 14 2005, Iconography Review, Dana Van Iniquity
Artweek, San Francisco, April 2004 “Hunters Point Open Studio”
Santa Rosa Press Democrat, April 27 2003 “Artistry at Hunters Point” Mark Aronoff
Nevada City Times, April 2003, Show Review
Miami Herald February 18 2003, “Coconut Grove Art Festival” interview
San Francisco Arts Monthly, October 2002, San Francisco, California
San Francisco Frontiers Newsmagazine October 2000 “San Francisco Open Studios”
Watercolor Magazine, Summer 2000, “A Quiet Splendor” James Metcalf.
San Francisco Chronicle, October 1, 2000 Jesse Hamlin,
” Three artists open their studios” San Francisco Frontiers Newsmagazine
October 1999 “San Francisco Open Studios” The Sentinel, San Francisco
March 2 1989 “An Artists Profile” Michael Gunsaulus
2001-2011 Artists Guild of San Francisco, Board Member
1996-2000 Artspan Board Member (producers of S.F. Open Studios), President 1997
1989 Gay and Lesbian Artists Alliance, Founder and Member
Visual Aid Grantee 2001-16, San Francisco, California
2000-2001 City College of San Francisco, Intaglio, Life Drawing Courses
1995 City College of San Francisco, Monotype course
1970-1973 BSc Geography, London University, London, England
1969-1970 Pre-Diploma Year Winchester College of Art, Winchester, England