“The general misunderstanding of a painting is due to missing it’s spiritual and technical qualities. If the observer’s eye is not trained to equate formal visual problems with those things, he/she will search for things which have little to do with the aesthetic content of a painting, looking for representational things instead of music-like relationships.”
Each of my paintings represents a crystallized chunk of formal experience, while being very personal at the same time. My paintings are earthy, rock-like and weighty, and yet they have in them the rhythm of the sea. I am a nature painter; the nature “out there” coupled with my own internal landscape. My inner finds the equivalent ‘out there.’
My abstract paintings hold in them emotion, spirit, soul, and memory, all of which rise up in a form conducive to be realized in oil paint. The paint finds them before even I do. How colors relate is everything: the color finds the light, creates the shape. A process/improvisational painter, I listen to how the paint wants to move, every new painterly decision responding to what came before, (searching for compositions through rhythms, harmonies, synchronizations and counterpoints). My paintings become windows peering into space beyond their four edges. I feel like I am at a construction site breathing life onto the canvas through a simultaneous building up and a tearing down of color. What is the distance between the forms, how do I get the space between them to move? The intervals are found through a process of elimination: I get rid of what does not enhance the whole, and add what does. How can I say ‘the thing’ in the most economical way?
My painting process is unsettling, passionate, radical, and driven. All together, a body of paintings becomes like the movements of a symphony that take a year or more to fully realize. Each painting has immediacy to it, but takes time to complete; it’s my own personal paradox. The painting is the consequence of technique and skill brought about by the concept. That is how what ends up on my canvas gets said, and how my paintings come to be.
Lorna Ritz studied w/ Gabriel Laderman and Lennart Anderson in the 60’s. She received a BFA from Pratt Institute, changing the course of her painting life into pure abstraction, under the instruction of painter James Gahagan, (a student of Hans Hofmann), who was a very important teacher for her in the 60’s. She received an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1971, in both painting and sculpture, (welding steel, and casting in bronze and iron). She welded steel for 25 years, and cast in bronze and iron.
Teaching positions: R.I. School of Design, Brown University, University of Minnesota, and Dartmouth College in the 70’s and 80’s. She was a “Visiting Guest Critic” at the Vermont Studio Center from 1991-2013. She taught ‘Drawing Marathons’ at the New York Studio School, & taught @ University of Massachusetts 1987-95, and at Western New England University 2004-2017.
Residencies: The Community Residency,‘C-Scape Dune Shacks,’Provincetown, Massachusetts 2013, International Residency Program, through the Augusta Savage Gallery at University of Massachusetts, Cape Town, South Africa 2007, Helen Wurlitzer Foundation, Taos, New Mexico 2006, Arcadia National Park, “Artist-in-Residence”; Maine 2000, Fundacíon Valparaíso, Spain; painting residency, 1999, Vermont Council on the Arts, “Artist-in-Residence” Grant Award, 1981-83, Fellowship to Ossabaw Island Project, Georgia, 1978, Artist-in-Residence Grant to the Roswell Museum Art Center, New Mexico, 1975, Fellowship to MacDowell Colony, New Hampshire, 1972 & 1976.
Lectures: Instituto de Belles Artes, (Medellin, Colombia); American University, (D.C. and in Italy); Humboldt State University, (CA); The New York Studio School, and the Institute for American Universities in Aix-en-Provence, (France). I have traveled through the U.S. Information Agency to Malta and Honduras to teach at respective universities, and my paintings have been exhibited through the Art-in-Embassies Program in D.C. in Africa, Guatemala, and Caracas; & the Divinity Center at Yale University, the Bowery Gallery in NYC, Hillyer Gallery at Smith College, the Fine Arts Center’s ‘The Contemporary Art Museum” at the University of Massachusetts; the Hood Museum at Dartmouth College, and the Fine Arts Center in Provincetown, MA.
Recent Group exhibitions: “The Painting Center,” NYC, Provincetown Art Association & Museum, The Washington Art Association in Washington Depot, CT., Oxbow Gallery, ‘The Creative Center’ in Chelsea, NYC, Julian Scott Memorial Gallery @ Johnson State College, Vermont, American Embassy in Caracas, Kathryn Schultz Gallery, Cambridge, MA., Edward Hopped House Museum, Nyack, New York, and 2017 Hannah Bacol Busch Gallery, Belaire, Texas.
Recent solo shows: Augusta Savage Gallery, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, The State House, Boston, (in Senator Rosenberg’s Office), Aidron Duckworth Art Museum, Meriden, NH., French Cultural Center, Boston, MA. Grants: Artists’ Fellowship, New York City, The Artist’s Resource Trust, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, The Haven Foundation, Maine, George Sugarman Foundation Grant Award, Puffin Foundation, New Jersey, The Kittredge Fund Grant, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 2 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant Award, New York City, Esther & Adolph Gottlieb Foundation Emergency Grant Award, New York City, Ludwig Vogelstein Grant Award, New York City, Salmagundi Artists’ Fellowships, New York City, U.S. Information Agency Grant Award, Vermont, Partners of the Americas, to paint, exhibit, travel, lecture, and teach at the University; Honduras, 6 weeks, 1983, Blanche E. Colman Grant Award, Boston Safe Deposit & Trust Bank, Boston, and a Partial Scholarship to Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, 1968.
Public Collections: University of Michigan Museum of Contemporary Art, Hale and Dorr Law Firm, (Boston), Bank of Boston, Johnson and Johnson, (N.J.), Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art, (N.M.), the Burnham Institute, (CA.), and Veridex, (NJ), The Mead Art Museum at Amherst College, The Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Childrens’ Hospital, Boston, Nataxix Global Asset Management, Boston, Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, Audax Group, Boston, Thompson Financial Management, Northampton, MA., United Health Group Corporate Headquarters, Minnetonka, Minnesota, McLean Hospital @ Harvard Medical School, Ipsen Pharmaceutical Company, Cambridge, MA.