Richard Deutsch

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Richard Deutsch
Born 1953
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Education University of California, Santa Cruz
Known for Sculpture
Movement Minimalism, Expressionism

Richard Deutsch (born 1953) is an American sculptor who works primarily in the Minimalist and Expressionist genres.[1] Although his work ranges from small table-top pieces to multi-story sculptures, Deutsch "is well-known for his large-scale architectural and environmental projects."[2][3]

Life and career[edit]

Deutsch was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1953.[1][3] His grandparents emigrated to the United States from Russia in the first decade of the 20th century.[1] His mother worked for the Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union.[1]

Deutsch received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1976.[1][2] He originally worked only in ceramics, and was influenced by Bizen ware (a type of very hard, reddish Japanese ceramic sculpture and pottery).[1] The first solo exhibition of his work occurred in Seattle, Washington, in 1978.[1] In 1981, his work was part of the "American Porcelain" exhibit at the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution.[4] (His contribution, "Equinox," is now part of the museum's permanent collection.[5]) After several years of exhibiting on the West Coast and making larger and larger sculptures, Deutsch decided in the mid-1980s to work in other materials (such as bronze, concrete, granite, plaster, stainless steel, and terrazzo) and begin creating much larger artworks designed for public spaces.[1][3][6]

In 2000, Deutsch collaborated with choreographer Liss Fain on her dance piece "Quarry."[6] Real-time images of Deutsch at work on a sculpture ("Seven Stones," a 20 by 36 feet (6.1 by 11.0 m) granite piece) were transmitted via the Internet and projects onto a scrim and four background panels while six dancers improvised movement (which was intended to make them appear to be interacting with the Deutsch).[6][7] Technical difficulties marred the performance.[8]

Deutsch lives in Davenport, California.[3][8]

Design philosophy[edit]

Deutsch has described his more recent work as an attempt to create an "artist-driven environment" in which the audience interacts with his art by seeing it, touching it, being able to stop and contemplate it, and move through it.[2][3] His public art is highly contextual, and he researches the history and setting of a site before beginning his work.[2] His sculpture is also often collaborative, as he works with architects, engineers, and landscape architects to ensure that his art fits with the site.[2]

Deutsch works at a number of studio/workshops in China, Italy, and the United States, and utilizes material from around the world.[2]

Noted works[edit]

"Water Story," Deutsch's metaphorical sculpture about water's journey from the mountains to the sea, in front of the California Science Center.

The more notable of Deutsch's works include:

Awards and honors[edit]

Deutsch was a Visiting Artist in 1987 at the American Academy in Rome, and received a grant in 1984 from the National Endowment for the Arts.[1] In 2007, Santa Cruz County, California, named him County Artist of the Year.[19]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Richard Deutsch." Art Interview. Issue #007. Accessed 2011-04-07.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Bennett, Richard. "At the Engineering Facility on the Stanford Campus, He Created an 'Axis' of Stone." Oakland Tribune. May 6, 2007.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Lowe Enterprises Unveils 'Hulls' at 500 Terry Francois." Press release. Lowe Enterprises. April 22, 2008.
  4. ^ Conroy, Sarah Booth. "'American Procelain': A Look at What's New In an Ancient Craft." Washington Post. November 9, 1980.
  5. ^ "Equinox." Collections. Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery. No date. Accessed 2011-04-07.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Amirrezvani, Anita. "Internet Enhances Dance Piece." San Jose Mercury News. September 22, 2000.
  7. ^ Dixon, Steve. Digital Performance: A History of New Media in Theater, Dance, Performance Art, and Installation. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2007, p. 425.
  8. ^ a b Amirrezvani, Anita. "Technical Difficulties Plague Liss fain's Brave New Work." San Jose Mercury News. September 30, 2000.
  9. ^ a b Unterman, Patricia. "Cafe Fontabella." San Francisco Chronicle. September 8, 1991.
  10. ^ a b c Jurich, Michele. "Garden Takes Shape As Site of Remembrance." San Jose Mercury News. June 9, 2005.
  11. ^ Rosenwald, Michael S. "Loftiest Names in Luxury, Under 2 Chevy Chase Roofs." Washington Post. August 11, 2005.
  12. ^ "Artfully Conceived Chip Project for Sunnyvale ." San Jose Business Journal. July 12, 1998.
  13. ^ Millner, Caille. "Temple Begins Building Memorial Granite Garden." San Jose Mercury News. December 23, 2004.
  14. ^ "Across Marin." Marin Independent Journal. November 2, 2002.
  15. ^ Bova, Carla. "Tiburon Calls Off Plans for Sculpture." Marin Independent Journal. October 21, 2003.
  16. ^ Rein, Lisa. "Constitution Center: All Dressed Up but Missing a Suitor." Washington Post. October 2, 2009; "Art." Constitution Center. David Nassif Associates. 2009. Archived 2011-04-30 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed 2011-03-13.
  17. ^ "Annual Guide '09." Art in America. New York: Brant Art Publications, 2009, p. 3; STUDIOS Architecture. Buildings: Innovation + Technology. Mulgrave, Victoria, Australia: Images Publishing, 2009, p. 90.
  18. ^ Walton, Chelle Koster. "Artful Accommodations." RSW Living. May/June 2009, p. 48; "Joan Warren-Grady, Art Advisor for Luxury Hotel Properties Internationally, Completes Major Contemporary Art Collection for Regent Bal Harbour." Press Release. Regent Bal Harbour. December 5, 2008.
  19. ^ Guild, Todd. "Sculpture Exhibit Returns to Watsonville's Sierra Azul Nursery & Garden." Watsonville Register-Pajaronian. May 20, 2008.

External links[edit]