William Richards (1917-2004)
Title: Untitled 2
Medium: Chromogenic color print
Signature: Signed lower right
Provenance: From the Estate of the Artist
William Richards’ works of original, one-of-a-kind, chromogenic process color photographs, were created during the late 1950s–1980s in his basement darkroom studio, using a developing process that has been since replaced by digital image printing and enhanced photographic/design software.
This stunning collection of more than 400 lots was discovered in the basement studio of the artist’s Cleveland home by Deba Gray of Gray’s Auctioneers.
By day, William Richards worked as a creative director in Cleveland’s dynamic advertising industry, winning numerous national awards for his advertising work. His nights and weekends were spent following his passion for fine art photography.
Richards created a beautiful world of reflecting colors, using a simple low-tech approach to achieve incredible visual results. His process continues to stump the most seasoned photographers. Richards’ simple technique did not distort the image in the lens, he simply captured the true reflection on a chromed, bent piece of metal, using found objects such as colorful holiday wrapping paper, colored lights and various gels, which were then suspended above the chromed surface. On some, he would isolate and capture the image, develop it and then manually manipulate and flip the images, to create a tiled or swirling, kaleidoscopic effect, as evident in his magnificent Assemblages Series. On others, he would capture a single, elegant reflection of ethereal colored shapes.
Richards’ work is in the permanent collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art.