Richard Spare | Biography

Richard studied painting at Maidstone College of Art (1971-74). He has continued to produce his own work ever since and has become intensely involved in printmaking.

A Master printmaker, Richard has editioned work for many contemporary artists, including David Hockney, Robert Ryman, Francesco Clemente, Donald Sultan and Keith Haring. In 1977 he worked with David Hockney as his assistant, setting up an etching studio for him. It was an interesting time as Richard was able to watch Hockney at work on his sets for the Glyndebourne 'Magic Flute'. In 1988 Richard spent several months in New York working with Jasper Johns, proofing and editioning complex carborundum prints.

Today, Richard concentrates solely on his own work, which derives from nature and travel. The garden he has designed at his studio in Charlton is a rich source of inspiration. Filled with hollyhocks, foxgloves, poppies and wisteria, it is a small haven for wildlife and has been a starting point for many of his prints. Richard's studio is a homage to the art of printmaking, with its lovingly-restored antique etching presses, housed in a converted Victorian coach house.

A frequent exhibitor at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and an invited exhibitor at the Discerning Eye exhibition at the Mall Galleries, Richard also regularly shows his work internationally.

Solo international shows include a series of annual exhibitions throughout Japan, spanning eleven years, which included Tokyo, Fukuoka, Osaka, Yokohama, Hiroshima, Matsuyama, Sendai, Sapporo, Kobe, Kyoto, Nagoya, Kagoshima, Kawagoe, and Nara. He has also had solo shows in Ballarat and Daylesford, Victoria, Australia. He has been Guest International Artist at the Toorak Village Art Affair, Melbourne.

In November 2017 Richard travelled once again to attend 28 solo shows of his work in cities across the whole of Japan, from Hokkaido in the north to the Pacific Islands in the south. This beautiful country, its art and traditions, continue to be an abiding influence on his work.

Solo shows in the UK include The Craft Centre & Design Gallery, Leeds City Art Gallery, Trevelyan College, University of Durham and The Burton Art Gallery, Bideford, Devon.

Notable mixed shows include The Art on paper Fair at the Royal College of Art and the Originals, Society of Wildlife Artists and Royal Society of British Artists Open exhibitions at the Mall Galleries.

Richard's work appears in many collections worldwide; public collections include: Victoria & Albert Museum, The British Library, Trevelyan College University of Durham, Aston University, Chelmsford Museum, Leeds Art Gallery, Maidstone Museum, Imperial Health Charity, Art in Healthcare, The Central and Regional Library of Berlin and Federation University Australia, Ballarat, Victoria.

Recent exhibitions

  • 2018

    • Five drypoint works (Breton Boat, Feisty Firecrest, Fox, Fritillaria and To the Lighthouse) accepted into the permanent collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum.
    • Richard’s drypoint ‘The Secret’  was selected for inclusion in the 2018 Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy
    • Two drypoint works, Blue Tit and Snowy Owl, accepted into the permanent collection of the Chelmsford Museum. Puffin Pair and Night Owl feature in Maidstone Museum's collection; a floral drypoint, Cyclamen, in the collection at Leeds Art Gallery, and Richard is delighted that more floral works are to be shown in hospitals and therapy centres, through the Imperial Health Charity (Iris Spring, Spring Morning and Morning Tulips) and Art in Healthcare (Daisy Basket, Thirsty Periwinkles and Canary).
    • Bird of Paradise is shortly to be included in the permanent collection of the British Library.
  • 2017

    • 28 SOLO SHOWS ACROSS JAPAN THROUGHOUT NOVEMBER 2017

    • On 1st November 2017 Richard travelled to attend signing events at 28 solo shows of his work in cities across the whole of Japan. This beautiful country, its art and traditions, continue to be an abiding influence on his work.
    • Away for the whole of November, his work was on show in Tamagawa Takashimaya Tokyo, Shinjyuku Takashimaya Tokyo, Yokohama Takashimaya, Ikebukuro LOFT Tokyo, Kobe Daimaru, Fukuoka Iwataya Kyushu, Okinawa Ryubou, Machida Odakyu Tokyo, Tokasaki Takashimaya Gunma, Nagoya Takashimaya, Umeda Hankyu Osaka, Iyotetsu Takashimaya Matsuyama, Hiroshima Fukuya, Hamamatsu Entetsu Shizuoka, Keikyu Kamioka Yokohama, Kashiwa Takashimaya Chiba, Yonago Takashimaya Totori, Okayama Takashimaya, Kyoto Takashimaya, Osaka Takashimaya, Sapporo Tokyu, Sendai Fuyjizaki, Morioka Kawatoku Iwate, Shinjyuku Odakyu Tokyo, Yokohama LOFT, Tokyo Daimaru, Nihonbashi Takashimaya Tokyo, Shinjyuku Takashimaya Tokyo.
    • Joint show at Cambridge Contemporary Art, 11th Feb-5th March 2017. 6 Trinity Street, Cambridge CB2 1SU. Exhibiting 30 pieces of Richard's work including many new images.
  • 2016

    • 'Snowy Owl' selected for The Original Print Show, curated by Norman Ackroyd CBE RA at Zillah Bell Gallery, Thirsk, N. Yorkshire, 10th Sept - 22 Oct 2016.
    • 'Tern' selected for the 2016 Discerning Eye Exhibition, 17th - 27th Nov 2016
    • 'The Mimosa' and 'Perching Kingfisher' selected for 'The Masters', an exhibition curated by Norman Ackroyd CBE RA, at Bankside Gallery, London, devoted to works which employ intaglio printmaking techniques. 9th – 20th November 2016. 
    • Bridgeman Copyright now represent Richard through their offices in London, Paris, New York and Berlin, clearing copyright and reproduction rights on his behalf.
    • Cambridge Contemporary Art showing an ongoing selection of Richard's work.
  • 2015

    • Two works shown in the 'Painter Printmakers' exhibition in the Keeper's House at the Royal Academy, 29th October 2014 - 30th April 2015. 'Feisty Firecrest' and 'Japanese Orchid' are still available to purchase at: www.royalacademy.org.uk/artsales
    • Cambridge Contemporary Art showing an ongoing selection of Richard's work.
    • 'In the Garden' a mixed show at the Green Tree Gallery, Borde Hill Gardens, West Sussex, 14th March - 18th April.
    • A showcase of Richard's drypoints at the Burton Art Gallery and Museum, Bideford, 29th August - 29th October.
    • Two works, 'Nuthatch' and 'Spring Bulfinch' selected for the 2015 Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy, 8th June - 16th August 2015.
    • 'Spring Bullfinch' exhibited in 'The Royal Academy in Yorkshire', an exhibition of original prints selected by Norman Ackroyd CBE RA from the 2015 Summer Exhibition, at the Zillah Bell Gallery, Thirsk, 5th September - 31st October 2015.
  • 2014

    • The Assembly House Print Show, Norwich, exhibiting 14 works. 10th May to 28th June.
    • Two works, 'Stonechat' and 'Kingfisher's Catch' selected for the Summer Exhibition 2014 at the Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly, London.
    • Affordable Art Fair Hampstead with Printmakers Inc. 12th - 15th June.
    • Invited artist at Yvonne Arnaud Art 2014 in Guildford 9th - 24th July. The Mill Studio, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford.
    • Norman Ackroyd CBE RA selected 'Stonechat' for inclusion in 'The Royal Academy in Yorkshire', an exhibition of original prints selected from the 2014 Summer Exhibition, at The Zillah Bell Gallery in Thirsk, bringing 'the best of UK print practice to the heart of Yorkshire'. September until 1st November 2014.
    • Brighton Art Fair 26th - 28th September.
    • Two works selected for the 'Painter Printmakers' exhibition in the Keeper's House at the Royal Academy, exploring how printmaking feeds into painting and vice versa, giving an insight into the creative process, On show for six months from 29th October 2014.
  • 2013

    • Two works, 'Puffin Pair' and 'Breton Boat', exhibited in the Royal Society of British Artists Annual Exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London in March.
    • 'Richard Spare - Flora', solo show at Gallery on Sturt, 421 Sturt Street, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, 4th May - 4th June, 2013.
    • 'Animal Magic' mixed show at Baxters Gallery, Dartmouth, 25th October - 14th November 2013.
    • Richard's work features on the cover of a spellbinding new poetry collection, 'Iron String', by American poet Annie Lightheart, published by Airlie Press. Graceful strength is exemplified by Richard's drypoint 'Snowdrop'.
  • 2012

    • Two works, 'Night Owl' and 'Perching Kingfisher', exhibited in the Royal Society of British Artists Annual Exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London in March.
    • 'Goldcrest' selected for the 2012 Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly, W1.
    • Australian solo exhibition 'The Joy of Being ...' at Gallery on Sturt, Ballarat, Victoria, during August 2012.
    • Guest International Artist at the exclusive Toorak Village Art Affair, Melbourne, Australia, 19th October to 11th November 2012.
    • 'Two for Joy' was selected for the Society of Wildlife Artists annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London SW1, 1st - 11th November 2012.
    • Richard's 'Stargazing Penguins' was selected for the prestigious Discerning Eye Exhibition at The Mall Galleries, London SW1, 15th-25th November 2012.
    • Richard’s Australian solo show ‘The Joy of Being …’ exhibited at Daylesford Fine Art, The Rex Arcade, 47 Vincent Street, Daylesford, Victoria, from 23rd November - 24th December 2012.
    • Mixed show at Galerie Audrey Marty, St Malo, Brittany, 1st December – 31st January.
  • 2011

    • Mixed show 'A Breath of Fresh Air' at Byard Art, Cambridge, February 26th – March 20th. Byard Art, 14 Kings Parade, Cambridge CB2 1SJ.
    • 'French Table' by Richard was selected from a record number of entries to appear in the prestigious Royal Society of British Artists Annual Exhibition at the Mall Galleries from 2nd – 12th March. Mall Galleries, The Mall, London SW1.
    • An exhibition of Richard's drypoints appeared in the Biscuit Factory mixed 'Spring Show', 12th March – 30th May. The Biscuit Factory, 16 Stoddart Street, Shieldfield, Newcastle NE2 1AN.
    • 'Kingfisher' and 'Awaiting the Tide' were selected for this year's Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly, W1.
    • 15 one-man shows throughout Japan: : Tamagawa - Tokyo, Shinjuku – Tokyo, Nihonbashi – Tokyo, Sendai, Sapporo, Kobe, Kyoto, Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima, Matsuyama, Fukuoka, Kagoshima, Kawagoe, and Yokohama.
    • JAGS Art Fair, 144 East Dulwich Grove, London SE22 8TE.
    • 10 of Richard's drypoints were selected for the 'Original Print Show' at the Gorstella Gallery, Chester, during November.
    • 'Badger Cub' was selected for the prestigious Discerning Eye Exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London SW1, 10th-20th November.
  • 2010

    • One man show of Richard's drypoints at the Kirkdale Bookshop Gallery, 272 Kirkdale, Sydenham, London SE26 4RS.
    • 'Ahoy!’ and 'Mr Prickles’ were selected for this year's Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly, W1.
    • 15 one-man shows throughout Japan: Tokyo (Tachikawa, Shinjuku, Tamagawa and Nihonbashi), Sendai, Kumamoto City, Fukuoka, Matsuyama, Hiroshima, Kyoto, Osaka, Nagoya, Yokohama and Sapporo. This was the first time that Richard's work was showcased in Hokkaido, in the north.
    • 'Summer Holiday’ Artist's Postcards exhibition at the Bianco Nero Gallery, 14 Bridge Road, Stokesley, N. Yorkshire, TS9 5AA.
    • JAGS Art Fair, 144 East Dulwich Grove, London SE22 8TE.
    • Christmas shows at Byard Art, Cambridge, Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge & Kirkdale Gallery, London.
  • 2009

    • 15 One-man shows in cities throughout Japan, including: Tokyo (Tachikawa, Tamagawa, Nihonbashi, Ginza and Shinjuku), Kyushu, Yokohama, Kooriyama, Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima, Kyoto, Kobe, Fukuoka and Kokura City. June – July 2009.
    • Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, 8th June – 16th August 2009.
    • 'A Splash of Colour’ the Craft Centre and Design Gallery, City Art Gallery, Leeds. 4th July – end of October 2009.
    • Royal West of England Academy Open Exhibition, Bristol.
    • Jags Art Fair, Dulwich, London.
  • 2008

    • 12 One-man shows throughout Japan, including: Tokyo (Tachikawa, Tamagawa, Nihonbashi and Shinjuku), Yokohama, Morioka City, Kooriyama, Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima, Kyoto and Kokura City.
    • Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2008.
    • Newcastle & Gateshead Art Fair at Sage, Gateshead 11th – 14th September, with Bianco Nero Gallery of Stokesley, N.Yorks.
    • Royal West of England Academy Open Exhibition, Bristol, 26th October – 14th December.
    • JAGS Art Fair, Dulwich London SE22. 21st – 23rd November.
  • 2007

    • Trevelyan College, University of Durham, 'Colour & Line’, joint show.
    • Originals 2007, The Mall Galleries, The Mall, London SW1.
    • One-man shows throughout Japan, including: Tokyo (Tamagawa, Utsunomiya, Nihonbashi, Shinjuku and Ginza), Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima and Fukuoka.
    • Art for life, Christies, St James’, London W1.
    • Bianco Nero Gallery, Stokesley, N.Yorks. 'Wildlife’ show.
    • Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2007.
    • Royal West of England Academy Open Exhibition, Bristol.
  • 2006

    • Originals 2006, The Mall Galleries, The Mall, London SW1.
    • One-man show, Craft Centre and design Gallery, City Art Gallery, Leeds.
    • The Power of 3, Rostra Gallery, Bath.
    • Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2006.
    • Chichester Open Art Exhibition 2006.
  • 2005

    • One-man shows throughout Japan, including Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Matsuyama, Osaka and Nagoya.
    • Wildwood Gallery, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Mixed Spring Show.
    • Pyramid Gallery, 43 Stonegate, York.
    • Bianco Nero Gallery, Stokesley, N. Yorks, 'Animals’ show.
    • Discerning Eye 2005, Mall Galleries, London. Invited Exhibitor.
    • Deck the Walls, Will’s Art Warehouse.
    • Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.
    • Images in the City, Geffrye Museum, London.
  • 2004

    • One-man shows throughout Japan, including Tokyo, Osaka, Chiba, Tokorozawa, Hiroshima and Kokura.
    • Jenny Granger Gallery Mixed Opening Exhibition, Whitstable, Kent.
    • Royal College of Art 'Art on Paper Fair’, with Anna Mei Chadwick.
    • Black Swan Arts Open Exhibition, Frome, Somerset. 21 Feb – 20 March.
    • Enid Lawson Gallery at the Affordable Art Fairs London & Bristol.
    • Dulwich & Chelsea Art Fairs.
    • Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.
    • Collyer-Bristow Gallery, Bedford Row, London, 'Flower Power' exhibition.
    • 10 Etchers Etching, Rostra Gallery, Bath.
    • Discerning Eye 2004.
    • 39 Essex Street Chambers, London.
    • Inspires, Rostra, & Pyramid Galleries.
  • 2003

    • The National Print Exhibition, The Mall Galleries.
    • The Art on Paper Fair, Royal College of Art, with Anna Mei Chadwick.
    • Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.
    • Enid Lawson Gallery, mixed summer show.
    • 10 shows throughout Japan 28th May - 9th June.
    • Wyards South East Open Print Exhibition 2003.
    • Affordable Art Fair, New York, with Enid Lawson Gallery.
    • Discerning Eye 2003.
    • Show at Bianco Nero, Stokesley, N.Yorkshire, 7th - 29th November 2003.
    • Winter Print Fair, Friends Room, Royal Academy.
    • Corporate Connoisseurs Christmas show,Kensington.
  • 2002

    • The National Print Exhibition, The Mall Galleries.
    • The Art on Paper Fair, Royal College of Art.
    • Birmingham Spring Art Fair (with CCA Galleries).
    • Craft Centre & Design Gallery, Leeds City Art Gallery (solo show).
    • Broxbourne Civic Hall, Hertfordshire (joint show with Kay Spare).
    • Nine shows throughout Japan including Fukuoka, Osaka, Yokohama and Tokyo.
    • CCA Galleries, London, joint show with Kay Spare, travelling to CCA Galleries Farnham, Surrey.
    • Collyer Bristow Christmas Show.
  • 2001

    • Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.
    • The National Print Exhibition, The Mall Galleries.
    • Art on Paper Fair, The Royal College of Art.
    • Birmingham Spring Art Fair (with CCA Galleries).
    • New York ArtExpo (with CCA Galleries).
    • Various galleries in Sydney, Australia.
    • Solo shows in Osaka, Tokyo, (Nara, Shin Yurigaoka, Hikarigaoka, Daimuru, Chiba) and Yokohama, Japan.
  • 2000

    • The Hunting Art Prizes Exhibition, The Royal College of Art.
    • Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.
    • The National Print Exhibition, The Mall Galleries.
    • Birmingham Spring Art Fair (with CCA Galleries).
    • New York ArtExpo (with CCA Galleries).
    • Atlanta Art Fair, USA (with CCA Galleries).
    • San Francisco Art Fair (with CCA Galleries).
    • Las Vegas Art Fair (with CCA Galleries).
    • Beatrice Royal Gallery, Eastleigh Hampshire.