Richard Callner
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b. 1927 - 2007

Richard Callner was born on May 18, 1927 in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Callner is a painter who at various times was focused on myth, abstraction, interior landscape, and geometry. He led the Art Department at University at Albany, New York, thus influencing scores of artists who’ve gone on to recognition. Callner also secured a teaching position at Purdue University. Callner died in 2007, but his work remains in public and private collections from Israel to the United States.

The Albany Institute of History and Art:

“During the 1980s Callner's subject matter shifted to include landscapes, interior, and exterior views, still lifes, and portraits. These striking new works featured strong colors and extravagant lines and patterns, which created often-distorted perspectives. Until this time, Callner's preferred medium was oil on canvas, but with these new pictures he enthusiastically embraced new materials including a unique overlay of watercolor and gouache on paper which helped him to achieve stunning color combinations that appear to vibrate across the surface of the paintings. Callner favoured this new medium because it enabled him to work faster and produce more work.  
Callner's distinctive interior rooms are chock full of complex and contradictory perspectives. What may appear at first to be a window overlooking a landscape may also be a painting hanging on the wall or a mirror reflecting another wall. Many of these rooms contain distinctive vases, a selection of fruit or flowers on tabletops covered with patterned cloths, and curtains with tiebacks framing windows. The walls are covered with decorative wallpapers, the floors and ceilings are covered with painted patterns, and multiple tapestries and carpets drape the floors and walls. It is interesting to note the absence of chairs and figures in these rooms. Callner likes to infer that someone has either just left or is about to enter the space.”


1952   MFA from Columbia University
1966   Director of the Tyler School of Art in Rome


2003   The Albany Institute of History and Art: 50-year Retrospective

The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
Museum of Painting and Sculpture, Istanbul, Turkey
The Gallery of Modern Art, Pristina, Yugoslavia
The Albany Institute of History and Art
The Art Institute of Chicago
The Detroit Institute of Arts
The Philadelphia Museum of Art; the New York Public Library
Yale University Art Gallery
Cincinnati Art Museum
The Worcester Art Museum


1959   Guggenheim Fellowship to paint in France and England