Artist Statement -

My work ,as the totem format may indicate, digs deep withing certain traditional forms of art. Ancient cave art forms a space orientation not dissimilar to the space of a temple or of a cathedral.
The sculptural direction in my work establish and reflect a felt environment and evoke a staged space. Like columns in a temple or cathedral, they make space for a kind of thought. My totems reflect space. They are about making viable the invisible that surround them. A single fragment of sculpture like a single Greek column makes visible the wonder of a whole building. This wonder is the space, the building block of scared thoughts not just about making visable the invisible but emphasizing that which is not seen as most important and without boundaries. In fact this obelisk, totem like format condenses and implodes, drawing in the invisible and showing for a brief moment the visible cathedral of natural forms within a new pictorial format without boundaries and briefly holding time still.

Artist Exhibitions

2006 55 Mercer Gallery New York, New York
2004 55 Mercer Gallery, New York, New York
2002 55 Mercer Gallery, New York, New York
2001 55 Mercer Gallery, New York, New York
1998 Hanson Galleries, New Orleans
1996 Deutch Bank Gallery, New York, New York
1995 Caesarea Gallery, Boca Raton, Florida
1992 Cedar Art Center, Corning, New York
1985 David Findlay Jr., New York, New York
1985 Ruthvin Gallery, Columbus, Ohio
1984 Randolph Machon, Ashland, Virginia
1983 David Findlay Jr., New York, New York
1979 Hobart & William Smith Colleges, Geneva, New York
1974 Jacobs Ladder Gallery, Washington, D.C.
1974 Grace Borgenicht Gallery, New York, New York
1972 First Street Gallery, New York, New York

Artist Publications

I was reminded of both Jean Dubuffet and Roy Lichtenstein when I first saw the work of Richard Pitts, who makes his reliefs and totems out of woodcuts mounted on wood supports. He shares with both a certain childlike goofiness-a love of cartoony shapes and bright clear colors-but in keeping his language purely abstract he leaves open the possibility of multiple readings. Is that a bird's head or the neck of a fiddle? A lightning bolt or a drunken snake? But then again, why bother to assign real-world equivalents when the works just asked to be loved for their own buoyant personalities?

It seems strange to think of sculpture as “lovable”; though it often invites touch, sculpture is seldom what one would call “touchy-feely” or even “warm.” Yet this artist makes work that is human and humane in scale and invites us, if only for a brief time, to lighten up and enjoy the trip.

Ann Landi is a contributing editor of ARTnews and the author of the Schirmer Encyclopedia of Art.


Artist Collections


Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, Arkansas
Arnot Art Museum, Elmira, New York
Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, North Carolina
Coos Art Museum, Coos Bay, Oregon
Continental Insurance Company, New Brunswick, New Jersey
General Electric Company, New York, NY
Hickory Museum of Art, Hickory, North Carolina
International Telephone and Telegraph Co., Passaic, New Jersey
Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers State Univ., New Brunswick, New Jersey
Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, Mississippi
The New York Public Library, New York, New York
Port Authority of New York, New York, NY
Rahr-West Art Museum, Manitowoc, Wisconsin
Reading Public Museum, Reading, Pennsylvania
Springfield Art Museum, Springfield, Missouri
University of Virginia Museum of Art, Charlottesville, Virginia
University of South Carolina, Spartanburg, South Carolina
University of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia
Utah Museum of Fine Art, Salt Lake City, Utah
Keysone College, La Plume Pennsylvania

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