"Though primary credit for anything I have ever put on paper or canvas goes to two teachers six decades apart, the journey between the two has been a meandering one, with occasional diversions – useful in their way, but diversions nonetheless. My lifelong study of architecture, beginning in college, gave me an acute awareness of form and balance and composition generally, and much of my painting, however abstract it may be, has an architectonic quality to it. At the same time, there is a certain rigidity to architecture. There has to be: buildings can’t be designed to fail. But my diversionary attempts to escape it also failed, that is, until I began using modern acrylic paint, especially on paper. There I found the freedom I had been seeking in form, line and color, using different painting techniques and different materials. It is exciting to find this new world; I only wish it hadn’t taken so long to get there."
RICHARD KIMBALL learned to paint as a student of Patrick Morgan at Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, where he received the Addison Gallery Associates Art Prize in his senior year. Morgan was a legendary teacher of art at Andover and inspired and taught generations of students, including Frank Stella, Carl Andre, and Mel Kendrick.
Kimball was not only exposed to extraordinary teaching by Patrick Morgan but also was personally close to Patrick and his wife Maud Morgan, herself a well-known artist. The Morgans’ house was full of talk about art and the major art figures of the day like Hans Hoffman, with whom they both had studied, Clement Greenberg, his champion, and Betty Parsons, who was Maud’s dealer and friend. Out of this experience grew his decision to major in architecture at Harvard where Walter Gropius and the Bauhaus were the prevailing influences. In those days there was no other major at Harvard which involved the creative visual arts; had it been available, it might have changed his life.
His decision not to practice architecture, not a true passion as he soon recognized, led to two careers, first in business and then in the non-profit world. Throughout these years he continued to paint and study, as time and place allowed. His retirement finally afforded Kimball more time to paint, and in recent years he has studied with Arthur Yanoff at IS183 in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, himself a gifted abstract painter and teacher. Most recently, Kimball was awarded first prize at the Trinity Gallery spring juried show in Lakeville (CT) and second prize and honorable mention for two works in its fall juried show. Previously he exhibited at New Marlborough (MA) invitational shows, in a solo show at the Knox Gallery in Monterey (MA), and in New York at the Katharina Rich Perlow Gallery in her annual fall invitational exhibition. Her encouragement and strong support have been instrumental in his development as an abstract painter.
Kimball and his wife live in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts.