Ryder Richards was born in 1977 and raised in Roswell, New Mexico. He currently lives and works in the Dallas area as an artist, writer, and occasional curator. He earned a BFA in Painting with a minor in Architecture from Texas Tech University and a MFA from Texas Christian University.
He is the co-founder of the RJP Nomadic Gallery, The Art Foundation, and Culture Laboratory Collective. He is also the founder of EUTOPIA: Contemporary Art Review (2014-2020), wrote a series of essays titled “The Will to DIY,” and in 2020 launched “let’s THiNK about it” podcast. Ryder has participated in many national and international exhibitions and art residencies and continues to examine power structures and social/political interactions to consider bias.
Ryder Richards was a fellow at Roswell Artist-in-Residence from September 2012 until August 2013, held the art department chair at Eastfield College in Mesquite, TX, and is now an independent artist and creative director.
Richards has exhibited at the Bellevue Museum, Seattle; Roswell Museum, Roswell, NM; Olm Space, Switzerland; Public Address, Brooklyn; Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessalonica, Greece; Antena, Chicago; Falling Water, Pennsylvania; Cornell University, Ithaca; Monkskirche, Tangermunde, Germany; Studio Kura, Japan; C2 Pottery Gallery, China; Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece; Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum, San Antonio; ArtPace, San Antonio; The Luminary, St. Louis; Lawndale, Houston; Amarillo Museum of Art; San Diego Art Institute; The London Art Fair; University of Oklahoma; Stoveworks, Chattanooga; Wassaic, New York; as well as The Power Station, The Reading Room, Beefhaus, and Gray Matters in Dallas. He participated in The Texas Biennial 2011 and 2013 and the Dallas Biennial 2012 and 2014.
Richards has public artworks in El Centro College and Richland College, Dallas. He has work in the permanent collections of The Anderson Contemporary Museum, Roswell Museum, McNeese University, Richland College, and several private collectors.
My practice has covered many topics, from high-modernist aesthetics as a religion to reputational honor through violence. A commonality running through the majority of my work is the engagement with institutional and ideological systems of power to expand the discourse and recognize the bias within them.
In the mid-2010s, I focused on police violence, forms of power, and civilian rebuttals to coercion and corruption. This carried forward previous works on institutional critique into labor, class, economics, and gentrification within the art world. The result was also critical of the art world’s self-consumptive practices. Currently, my work is focused on Do-It-Yourself as a form of rebellious self-empowerment complicit in capitalist consumer identity.
The work is both sincere and subversive: an earnest entreaty aware of its faults, drawing attention to the void that produces subjectivity.