David Ricci was born and raised in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, returned to that area in the late ‘70s and continues to live and work there today. After receiving B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biomedical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, he worked briefly as an engineer and then left that field 30 years ago to pursue a new interest in art – particularly fine art photography.
David began this new career working in black-and-white but quickly abandoned that for color which has been his medium for the past 3 decades. His early years focused on nature photography in the style of Eliot Porter but that soon gave way to a minimalist, geometric approach to architectural photography. In the 1980s he became very interested in the work of several of the “New Color” photographers, in particular Stephen Shore and William Eggleston who developed more sophisticated compositional strategies and heralded the acceptance of straight color photography as fine art. At the same time, he pursued an extensive study of 20th century painting, and has been particularly influenced by the abstract expressionists such as Pollock and de Kooning as well as Photorealist painters, particularly the work of Richard Estes.
Over the next decade, David developed a large body of work photographing at recreational sites throughout America - amusement parks, state fairs, Las Vegas. With this work, which was widely exhibited throughout the Northeast U.S., he attempted to reveal the artificial, surreal character of these environments while using an underlying geometric structure to create visually complex images. As the work progressed over the years he orchestrated an increasing number of elements to the point where he literally crammed the picture with information.
In the mid ‘90s he began photographing the debris from man-made structures destroyed by natural disasters, fires, and demolitions as well as materials gathered at salvage yards and recycling centers. While the demolition and disaster scenes speak of loss and devastation and the scrap heaps comment on our consumer society, the artist believes these images invite a variety of interpretations.
“For me, exploring that magical space that exists where order and chaos merge allows new levels of meaning to emerge from the most unsightly landscapes. At the heart of all of these photographs is my attempt to recognize an unexpected elegance at sites generally thought to be aesthetically barren, to serve up a visual feast, to hear the music buried beneath the noise”. – David Ricci
Individual & Two Person Exhibitions:
2006 Iris Gallery, Great Barrington, MA “Playtime / Breakdown”
1999 Art Complex Museum, Duxbury, MA “The Edge of Chaos”
University Gallery, UMass-Amherst, Amherst, MA
“David Ricci: Photographs”Tremaine Gallery, The Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, CT (With Jim Dow)
Griffith Gallery, UMass-Lowell, Lowell, MA “Recent Photographs”
Noyes Museum of Art, Oceanville, NJ
“American Amusements”Penn Station, New York, NY (installation)
List Art Center, Brown University, Providence, RI
Panopticon Gallery, Boston, MA “New Work”
1994 Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, MA “David Ricci - Recent Developments”
Fogg Museum of Art, Cambridge, MA
“Play-Time”Image Gallery, Stockbridge, MA (with Clemens Kalischer)
1991 Panopticon Gallery, Boston, MA “David Ricci - Color Photographs”
Selected Group Exhibitions:
2005 Rosenberg + Kaufman Fine Art, New York, NY “Panel, Paper, Canvas”
2005 Contemporary Artists Center, North Adams, MA “Berkshire Biennial”
Fleming Museum of Art, Burlington, VT “Sublime Terrain: American ColorLandscape Photography”
MetLife Windows Exhibition Program, New York, NY
1995 Center for Photographic Art, Carmel, CA “Annual Center Awards Exhibition”
1994 Danforth Museum, Framingham, MA “New England Photographers ‘94”
1992 DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA “11 Artists/11 Visions”
1992 Danforth Museum, Framingham, MA “New England Photographers ‘92”
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