Rodney Ripps

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Rodney Ripps
Born (1950-12-06) December 6, 1950 (age 73)
Alma mater
Helene Verin
(m. 1979, divorced)
Children2, including Ryder Ripps

Rodney Ripps (born December 6, 1950) is an American artist, painter, and sculptor. Ripps is most known for textural density, heavy layering of materials, and heightened canvases in his work, often produced with high volumes of oil paint and incorporation of artificial leaves and metals, among other materials.[1]

Early and personal life[edit]

Rodney Ripps was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Anne (née Jacobie) and Sol Michael Ripps. His father owned and operated a dry cleaning service in Manhattan, New York.[2] Ripps graduated from Andrew Jackson High School in Cambria Heights, Queens, New York. He is an alumnus of both Hunter College and York College.[2]

On December 2, 1979, Ripps married designer and academic Helene Verin in the latter's hometown of Chicago.[2] They divorced when their son, conceptual artist Ryder Ripps, was nine years old.[3] He has another son, Ezra, who is a programmer.[4][5]


Ripps rose to prominence in the 1970s. In 1977, Ripps participated in his first group exhibition, "Painting 75/76/77" at the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center. Ripps was an affiliate of Andy Warhol's, posing for a series of Polaroid photographs shot by the latter.[6] Ripps was also mentioned in Warhol's journals and appeared as a guest on the talk show Andy Warhol's TV.[7] Early in his career, Ripps worked in construction as a source of supplemental income.[8] Ripps' illustration, "Rosette", was present in the Whitney Museum's 1979 Biennial event.[9]

Style and critical reception[edit]

Ripps' work has been tethered to a variety of American artistic movements, most notably neo-expressionism[10] and ornamentalism. This is, in part, the result of Ripps' continuous incantation of nature in his work. In a 1979 review in ArtForum, art critic Donald B. Kuspit attempted to term Ripps' work as a "Cosmetic Transcendentalism".[11] This terminology defined Ripps' work as a self-conscious form of transcendentalism that, through vibrancy of colors, scale, and textural variety, embrace "its own cosmetic character, and which is an expression of a theatrical ambition" of the contemporary artistic landscape.[10] Ripps' paintings are often supplemented with artificial leaves made of linen, often bound together and worked over heavily with thick layers of oil paint.[12]

Ripps' work has retrospectively been defined by art historians as an unspoken influence of Julian Schnabel, a sentiment echoed by Ripps himself.[13]

Notable works[edit]

Two of Ripps' works, "Untitled" (1976) and "The Meadow" (1980) belong to the permanent collection at the Brooklyn Museum under their Contemporary Arts wing.[14] Six of Ripps' work belong to the Vogel 50x50 collection.[15] "Odyssey in Space" (1980), is part of the permanent collection at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, France [16]

Selected solo exhibitions[17][edit]

  • 1991: "now is the silence"- Marisa del Re Gallery, New York City, New York, United States
  • 1985: Marisa Del Re Gallery, New York City
  • 1984: Carnegie Mellon U., Pittsburgh, 1984
  • 1983: Munson-Williams Procter Institute, Utica, New York
  • Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati, 1983
  • 1982: Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris, 1982
  • Galleria Schema, Florence, Italy
  • Dart Gallery, Chicago
  • Gallery 121, Antwerp, Belgium
  • Gallery G7, Blogna, Italy
  • Munson-Williams Procter Institute, Utica, New York
  • 1981: Holly Solomon Gallery, New York City, New York, United States
  • 1980: Akira Ikeda – Nagoya, Nagoya, Japan
  • 1979: Galerie Hans Mayer, Düsseldorf, West Germany
  • Gallery Bruno Bishofberger, Zurich, Germany
  • 1977: Nancy Lurie Gallery, Chicago, Illinois


  1. ^ "Review of Robert Kushner: "Dreams and Visions"". The Print Collector's Newsletter. 12 (6): 190. 1982. ISSN 0032-8537. JSTOR 44131785.
  2. ^ a b c "Helene Verin Wed in Illinois To Rodney Ripps, an Artist". The New York Times. December 3, 1979. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  3. ^ Sandstrom, Karen (March 25, 2016). "Artist Ryder Ripps brings web world into the gallery". Cleveland Institute of Art. Retrieved August 3, 2022.
  4. ^ Winerip, Michael (February 4, 2010). "The Virtues of a Slow-Moving Dad". The New York Times. Archived from the original on September 1, 2012. Retrieved August 3, 2022. Rodney Ripps, 59 — a visual artist now selling real estate for Halstead — doesn't get down to play on the floor with 5-year-old Ezra the way he did 20 years ago with his adult son Ryder.
  5. ^ Wille, Matt (May 21, 2021). "Firebrand artist Ryder Ripps wants to sell you NFT 'land' on Million Token Website". Input. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  6. ^ "Rodney Ripps, ANDY WARHOL (1928–1987) | Christie's". Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  7. ^ "The Paley Center for Media". The Paley Center for Media. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  8. ^ New York Magazine. New York Media, LLC. November 27, 1978.
  9. ^ "Whitney Biennial 1979". Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  10. ^ a b "Cosmetic Transcendentalism: Surface-Light in John Torreano, Rodney Ripps and Lynda Benglis". October 1979. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  11. ^ "Hal Foster on John Torreano, Erica Lennard, and "Mind Set: An Ongoing Involvement with the Rational Tradition"". February 1980. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  12. ^ Chen, Adrian (July 8, 2014). "Ryder Ripps: An Artist of the Internet". The New York Times. p. E6. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on July 27, 2014. Retrieved April 30, 2015.
  13. ^ Haden-Guest, Anthony (1998). True Colors: The Real Life of the Art World. Atlantic Monthly Press. ISBN 978-0-87113-725-8.
  14. ^ "Brooklyn Museum". Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  15. ^ "Vogel 50x50". Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  16. ^ "Odyssey in Space | Centre Pompidou". (in French). Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  17. ^ ArtFacts. "Rodney Ripps | Artist". ArtFacts. Retrieved December 6, 2019.