An influential artist, educator, and promoter of the Richmond art scene, Richard Carlyon was a highly regarded painter for over 50 years. Interested in the simultaneous linkage and split between time and space, Carlyon created work with graphic lines and bold color—constantly challenging compositions through wonky planes or aerial perspectives. He communicated across a spectrum of mediums, including painting, drawing, collage, and video, all activated with a conviction characteristic of his work and persona. Just as he conveys emotion through geometric, minimalistic paintings, he fluidly transitions these qualities in figurative and still life work.
Carlyon was born in New York in 1901, and attended the Richmond Professional Institute (now Virginia Commonwealth University), earning his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Fine Arts (1953, 1963). He taught at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts for 40 years, becoming a professor emeritus. Carlyon passed away in 2006.