Cloud Palettes and Big Head

EXHIBITION: Permanent Collection Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.


It is with great excitement that William Campbell Contemporary Art announces two paintings by renown American artist Richard Thompson, Cloud Palettes and Big Head, two large scale oil on canvas paintings, are now in the permanent collection of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

As Elizabeth Delaney writes.....Each of Thompson's paintings represents the sum-total of his life's journey-a path that has meandered forward and backward, up and down, east and west, not unlike the lines, shapes, and color progressions in his paintings. And it is the meandering where he thrives, where his work has taken root, to evolve as he grows. For Thompson, the creative trip has always been not about the destination, but about the getting there and the discoveries made along the way.

Marcia Tucker, curator of painting and sculpture at the Whitney Museum of American Art, invited Richard Thompson to participate in the 1975 Whitney Biennial alongside such noted artists as Ross Bleckner, Allan McCollum, Judy Pfaff, and Bill Viola. The 1970s also saw Thompson's first solo museum exhibition, at the Tyler Museum of Art in Tyler, Texas (1977), and the receipt of an NEA individual grant (1978). His work made a second appearance at the Whitney Biennial in 1981, this time at the invitation of renowned curator Richard Marshall. That same year, a portfolio of his drawings titled Richard Thompson: Honest Work appeared in the Paris Review. The following year, Thompson became the first American to earn an Australian Arts Council appointment as artist-in-residence at the Gippsland Institute in Victoria. After its culmination, he returned to Oregon, where he served as artist-in-residence at the Portland Art Museum School.


The year 1984 brought another sea change for Thompson. He moved to San Antonio as a visiting artist at the University of Texas San Antonio, which turned out to be the beginning of a fourteen-year stint in the Lone Star State. Thompson joined the faculty of the University of Texas Austin as a painting professor, a position he would keep for the next thirteen years. He was appointed associate professor in 1991 and promoted to assistant chair, head of studio, in 1993. He became a full professor in 1994.

Notable museum exhibitions in Texas during this time included a solo exhibition at the university in San Antonio titled Richard Thompson: Pioneer Abstractions; Fresh Paint: The Houston School at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, curated by noted art critic and curator Barbara Rose; Richard Thompson: Paintings 1985-88 at the Longview Museum of Fine Arts; Richard Thompson: Implied Narratives at the Amarillo Art Center, curated by Patrick McCracken; and 40 Texas Printmakers at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, curated by Jim Fisher. William Campbell Contemporary Art in Fort Worth began representing Thompson in 1984, and he has had eleven solo exhibitions there to date.

Thompson's work appeared in the 1986 coffee table book 50 Texas Artists by Annette Carlozzi. Also in that year, he won a Mid-America Arts Alliance individual award for painting. In addition to his studio work, he was a founding board member of San Antonio's Blue Star Contemporary, Texas's first and longest-running nonprofit exhibition space.

Additional major exhibitions during this decade included Contemporary Self Portraits from the James Goode Collection at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.; two solo exhibitions at the Tyler Museum of Art; and Confluence: Art and the Trout Fly at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, University of Colorado and Prichard Gallery, and the University of Idaho. He also participated in exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, Singapore, and Holland.


Alfred University lured Richard away from Texas as the dean of their School of Art in Alfred, New York, where he remained until retiring. Richard and his wife then moved cross country, back to Oregon's wine country to the family home where he grew up, building a studio on the property.

In 2017, Thompson was the subject of a major solo exhibition, Richard Thompson: Paintings from 97114, in the Governor's Gallery of the Oregon State Capitol in Salem. November of 2017 saw a residency at PLAYA, a space in Summer Lake, Oregon, offering juried residencies for artists, scientists, and other creatives trying to effect positive change in the world.

In 2019, Thompson participated in two significant group exhibitions. The first, Visual Magic, was held at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon, Eugene, and featured the current work of artists whose careers began in Oregon in the 1960s and 1970s. The second exhibition, at the Amarillo Museum of Art, was held in honor of Pam and Bill Campbell, owners of William Campbell Contemporary Art in Fort Worth, and their four decades of exhibiting and promoting contemporary art and artists. Most recently, Thompson's work was featured in a solo exhibition at the Hockaday Museum of Art in Kalispell, Montana. Opening in February 2020, Patchwork Prairies included fifteen recent landscape paintings as well as six works on paper.

Today, Thompson's work may be found in many public and private collections, including those of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; the San Antonio Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museum of South Texas in Corpus Christi; the Amarillo Museum of Art; the Albuquerque Museum of Art; and the Portland Art Museum in Oregon. Corporate collections featuring his work include the Standard Oil Corporation in Chicago, the Sprint Corporation in Kansas City, Apple Computer in Austin, and the Fidelity Corporation in Fort Worth. Thompson's work has been featured in notable publications throughout his career, including Art in America, Artforum, ARTnews, the Paris Review, the Village Voice, Fort Worth's Star-Telegram, and various exhibition catalogues.


Founded in 1974 by William and Pam Campbell, William Campbell Contemporary Art exhibits high-quality contemporary art in a variety of media, including paintings, works on paper, mixed-media constructions, photography, prints, ceramics, and sculpture. By exhibiting nationally recognized artists, along with new and emerging talent, the gallery aims to nurture an awareness and appreciation of the exciting diversity found in contemporary art.


William Campbell Contemporary Art
4935 Byers Avenue
Fort Worth, Texas 76107
Tuesday-Friday, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. / Saturday, 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m /
by appointment contact Pam or Bill Campbell at wcca@flash.net or at 817-737-9566 for more information.


William Campbell Contemporary Art
4935 Byers Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76107
PHONE: (817) 737-9566, FAX: (817) 737-5466
Gallery One Frames - (817) 737-9571
E-Mail: wcca@flash.net

Site Design: Delta Web Design image