The BankRI Galleries present:
BankRI North Kingstown Gallery: “Paintings by John Riedel”, April 2 through
July 1, 2009. The branch is located at 1140 Ten Rod Road in North Kingstown.
Hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to7 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
and Sunday noon to 4 p.m. For more information, contact www.bankri.com orcall 456-5015, ext 1330.
MEET THE ARTIST – JOHN RIEDEL
It’s not easy gaining access to the studio of Providence painter John
Riedel. It’s not that Riedel isn’t friendly; the shy, soft-spoken painter
is clearly an approachable kind of guy. It’s just that the first floor of
the corner house he shares with painter Ida Schmulowitz in the Fox Point
section of Providence is jammed packed with thirty years worth of paintings,
pastels and watercolors – literally several hundred works of art.
A narrow path barely big enough for a cat provides the only access to
Riedel’s studio. Plants, tubes of paint and books vie for air and floor
space. Clearly, there is one abiding passion in this house and that passion
Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Riedel’s dad worked for the U.S. Army and as a
consequence, the family moved around quite a bit. Riedel lived in seven
different states from the time of his birth until he graduated high school.
His interest in painting came late in his teenage years. One day the
fifteen-year-old Riedel found a box of paints in his mother’s closet. He
set up a still life and started painting. No art classes or inspirational
teacher for Riedel. He did it on his own. With some encouragement from
his mother, he applied to the Rhode Island School of Design and was
accepted. From then on in, Riedel hasn’t left Providence and hasn’t stopped
Riedel’s paintings are bright, vibrant still lifes and landscapes. He is a
throw back to the old-fashioned painter who works from life under natural
light. Yet his works are not realistic; they are instead, a distinct
departure from what he sees. He manipulates space and color to create an
atmosphere every bit as deep and dense as a tropical jungle, yet the
paintings depict familiar scenes of home and garden. It is an endearing
combination of comfortable, recognizable scenes of everyday life jolted with
shots of juiced up color and unusual angles. The paintings manage to excite
and nurture at the same time, and are definitely worth the time it takes to
negotiate the path to his studio.
The BankRI Galleries are curated by Paula Martiesian, a Providence-based
artist and arts advocate.