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The Paintings of Richard Krogstad

May 16, 2002 - July 7, 2002


The paintings of Richard Krogstad reflect his close, personal connection to the Midwestern landscape. He seeks to make the ordinary elements of the landscape -- rocks, trees, rivers, skies -- extraordinary through the careful use of color and value, giving his landscapes a spiritual dimension. His work is influenced by the paintings of the Luminists (American 19th century painters who studied the effect and depiction of light) and the Tonalists (who studied the relationships between values of color), and in particular, famed Hudson River painter George Inness (1825-94) who later moved to an impressionistic style. According to Krogstad, "Every new painting is an adventure, partly planned but ultimately a mystery." (left: Richard Krogstad, © 2002 Richard Krogstad, Sole Survivor 3, 24 by 40 inches, oil on panel)

Richard Krogstad was born and raised in Harlan, Iowa. He attended the University of Iowa where he majored in art. While an undergraduate student, his artwork was selected for the Midwest Biennial exhibit at the Joslyn Museum of Art in Omaha, Nebraska.

In 1965, Krogstad was one of three college students selected nationally to be a summer intern in the art department of the Foote, Cone & Belding advertising agency in Chicago. After graduating from the University of Iowa in 1966, he was hired by FCB as an art director.

In 1970, he divided his time between art direction and painting. That year, a series of his paintings shown at the Gilman Gallery in Chicago were purchased for the collections of Atlantic Richfield Corporation and Container Corporation of America among others. (left: Richard Krogstad, © 2002 Richard Krogstad, Prairie Rain, 36 by 48 inches, oil on canvas)

Krogstad moved to Amherst, Massachusetts in 1971, upon acceptance into the graduate painting program at the University of Massachusetts. He received an M.F.A. degree in 1973, after which he moved to Los Angeles where his artwork was represented by the Jodi Scully Gallery.

Also in 1973, he began a career in graphic design, working with clients in Los Angeles to produce annual reports, corporate identity, packaging and other design projects. After moving to Minneapolis in 1980, he continued working in corporate graphic design. His work in that field received numerous regional, national and international awards.

Since 1992, he has returned to his fine art work. In 1999, his painting Mississippi Wetland received the First Award for the oil, acrylic and mixed media category at the Minnesota State Fair 88th Annual Fine Arts Exhibition. Recent acquisitions of his paintings include the collections of Norwest Corporation, Diversified Pharmaceuticals and the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

He and his wife, Christine, live in Deephaven, Minnesota. Their daughter, Lindsay, is a college sophomore in Idaho.

Artist's Statement

" The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."

--Marcel Proust


The subject matter of my paintings includes the land, rivers, skies and vernacular buildings of the Upper Midwest. My paintings focus on what Roger Welch calls "...the importance, the charm, the beauty and the value of the typical."

I arrived at this point of view after exploring many directions, beginning with a nonobjective style in my early years. This has evolved over time into a representational approach with a regional focus. It has been a gradual evolution paralleling a growing appreciation and respect for the tradition of representational painting and for my rural Midwestern heritage.

Although I have a graduate degree in painting, by far most of my art education has come from the doing of it - a learning process that is ongoing from one painting to the next. Each new painting is an adventure, with an outcome that is partly planned but mostly a mystery.

Of course nothing is learned in a vacuum and I have many "art heroes" from whose work I have learned so much. In particular, I might mention George Inness and other Tonalist painters, the California Impressionists of the 1920's and 1930's, John Carlson and Edward Hopper.

Finally, my fundamental belief is that whatever ability I have and the work I produce are gifts for which I can take little credit.

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