Draft with Orange Doors
Oil on canvas
From the exhibition Still Life: 1970s Photorealism:Richard McLean began his career in the 1950s, as an abstract painter. In the 1960s, Pop art inspired him to move away from abstraction, and by the 1970s, he had made a name for himself as a painter of highly realistic images of the American West. McLean found horse shows and rodeos in California to be incredibly rich subjects. Images of horses can be found in the most ancient cave paintings and were staples of eighteenth-century Naturalist painters like George Stubbs and nineteenth-century Realists such as Rosa Bonheur. McLean is particularly interested in providing a contemporary, unromanticized view of subjects otherwise laden with historical connotations. Although he often represents the pageantry of show horses and their owners, he sometimes presents an isolated animal as if it were the subject of a still life.
Fortissimo! Thirty Years from the Richard Brown Baker Collection of Contemporary Art, exh. cat. (Providence, R.I.: Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, 1985), 108, 140, no. 89, ill.
“Acquisitions, July 1, 2007June 30, 2008,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2008): 212.