An extraordinary painter and furniture designer, Richard Roth urges viewers to consider the delineations between kitsch and art, object and idea, material and form. Inventing his forms from a myriad of sources such as Navajo blankets, mollusk shells, or licorice candies, Roth hand-paints geometric patterns and colorful blocks on birch plywood panels. His paintings are minimalist but bold, jutting forth as mini-obstructions challenging the traditional painted canvas. The work is confined to specific dimensions, like his 12 x 8 x 4 “box” format and recent 60 x 48 inch panel paintings, creating both freedom and challenge to continually invent within the structure.
Roth is a Professor Emeritus at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he taught in the Painting and Printmaking department from 1999 to 2015, serving as department chair for eight years. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from The Cooper Union in New York and Master of Fine Arts from Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia. In 1991, he was awarded a Visual Arts Fellowship in Painting from the National Endowment for the Arts, and later received a Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship in Painting (2008–09). He has exhibited at Margaret Thatcher Projects, David Richard Contemporary, OK Harris Gallery, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, all, New York, NY; Highland Institute of Contemporary Art, Loch Ruthven, Scotland; Rocket Gallery, London; UCR/California Museum of Photography; Museum of Modern Art, Saitama, Japan; and Valletta Contemporary, Malta, among others. His work is held in the permanent collections of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Try-Me Collection, both, Richmond, VA; de Cordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA; Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH; The Chase Manhattan Bank Collection and The First National City Bank Collection, both, New York, NY, among others. He is the co-editor of the book, Beauty is Nowhere: Ethical Issues in Art and Design and co-author of two books – Color Basics and Design Basics 3D. In 2019, he published his first novel, NoLab. Roth currently lives in Camarillo, California.