"Pageant" by Richard Yarde
59 1/2 x 40 1/2 inches, watercolor, signed in pencil, 1981, --framed
Richard Yarde‘s vision was about healing: physical, cultural, intellectual, and spiritual. From the portrayals of African American icons to explorations of his own illness, his work encompassed the wide range of the human experience: from isolation to perseverance, triumph, and pure joy. Richard Yarde was born in Boston in 1939 and for much of his life lived in Northampton Massachusetts. Yarde received a B.F.A. and a M.F.A. from Boston University. Since the mid-1960s, he was a major presence in the New England art world. Mr. Yarde trained generations of young artists and was a Professor of Art at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst from 1990 until his death in 2011.
Yarde tackled the traditionally intimate art of watercolor with uncharacteristic bravado and painted on a heroic scale with dazzling color, rich symbols and deeply evocative imagery.
Early on he painted with joy and verve. He would splash the Roxbury neighborhood where he grew up in the 1950s on large sheets of paper, then turn to rendering imagined scenes from the vibrant jazz world of the Harlem Renaissance.
Later, as his own illness became a dominant factor in his life, it also became one in his painting. Boldly and on a grand scale, Richard Yarde took the disparate elements of our American culture, (past and present) and our intellectual heritage and integrated them into a cohesive whole.
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